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the Property of 





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Philadelphia New Y ork 

1302 4 Filbert Street 5 East 23rd Street 

University of California Berkeley 









Entered at Stationers' Hall, London 







































BUOYS were bobbing gently in the outrunning 
tide ; the endless straggle of shoredrif t was lazing 
down the creek; round, water-washed cocoa husks 
twinkled and darkled in the stream, like the heads 
of so many swimmers ; here was a sea-worn piece 
of planking, there a splintered spar, and, floating 
amid it all, was a cedar canoe in which a barehead- 
ed young man, with an easy, self-confident look in 
his frank, likeable face, steadily and neatly plied 
the paddle, his glinting blue-gray eyes glancing 
sharply from right to left to mark what heartless 
tug captain might be aiming to run him down. For 
at times there were many towing masters speeding 
their stout boats about in Oakland Creek and the 
blue San Francisco bay beyond, and from the view- 
point of a man in a fourteen-foot canoe they were 
all desperate murderers. 

But no screw now beat through the peaceful tide 
near the lone boatman, and he had that part of 



the bay-arm all to himself, save for the driftage 
and the bobbing buoys. 

After a while the young man laid down his 
paddle, folded his bare arms and looked forward 
with a steady gaze that seemed full of throbbing 
anticipation. But he appeared to be biding his" 
time, as though that for which he would seek was 
not yet to unfold itself to his view. Had he not 
been so tensely preoccupied it would have been 
delicious indolence, this drifting bayward with 
the tide. The summer sun lay red and low in the 
fog-murk beyond Yerba Buena Island, but over- 
head the air was clear and wonderfully soft. 
On the left of the man in the canoe brooded 
the darkly mysterious marshlands, with a world 
of waving tules; away forward swelled the tame 
and sober billows of the bay; to the right were 
musty wharves, scraggy lumber piles and prosaic 
coal yards; behind him crooked the turbid creek, 
yellow with harbor ooze and flecked with the trivial 

Not far astern, in a wider stretch of water, rose 
a bristle of masts past which he had just paddled 
half-dismantled clipper ships of the old Cape 
Horn line, stout whalers, with beamy hulls, stubby 
sticks and heavily obvious davits vessels that had 
always made a strong appeal to his imagination; 
and, strangely mixed with these Artie-goers, were 
the schooners Honolulu, Belle of Tahiti and others 
from far Southern climes that had made him 
dream of palms and coral isles. Indeed, there had 


been hours when, after the irritating fiasco of some 
late-at-night electrical experiment in his little lab- 
oratory (he had a new plan for wireless trans- 
mission which had not yet worked itself out) a 
placid, nerve-soothing morning's paddle among 
these Southern voyagers had made Edwin Tevis 
feel that he- would not mind casting in his lot 
among them. But always he had returned to his 
batteries and commutators with that determina- 
tion to "win out 77 which had been one of his lead- 
ing characteristics in the college where he had 
mastered the awful "math" that had gained for 
him his electrical engineer's diploma. It was this 
same determination that had caused him to accept, 
albeit with a bite of the lip, a house-wiring and 
bell-hanging position in. an Oakland shop ; for two 
years out of college had amply demonstrated the 
dismaying yet impressive fact that he must earn a 
living, even by humble means, until such time as 
he might perfect his invention or pin down one of 
those yet evasive opportunities to build a great 
power-plant or a trolley line. 

Not always had Tevis been obliged to consider 
ways and means. He could well remember the 
time when his father owned rich quartz mines in 
Calaveras County, and many of the men in the 
freshman class had stood in awe of the only son 
of Ready-Money Tevis, who for years was one of 
three mining men who had sent the most gold to 
the mint. But gold had brought nothing but bane 
to the elder Tevis. He had always been a light 


tippler, and when his prosperity was at its highest 
he became a heavy one. He died of acute alcohol- 
ism when Edwin was in his junior year, after 
hopelessly tangling up his affairs. Mrs. Tevis fol- 
lowed her husband to the grave a week later. So 
reduced did the young man's finances become that 
he had barely enough money left to see him 
through college, which accounted for the taking of 
the electrical course. 

Anyone looking* at him now as he sat in his 
canoe, gazing eagerly across the water, would 
hardly have thought those bright, steady eyes had 
seen so much of sorrow; but one did not have to 
be a close observer to note a few touches of white 
at the temples of the bare brown head that made a 
strange contrast with his strong, youthful face and 
gave depth to the interest which even strangers 
had often felt in him at first sight. Those touches 
of white had appeared in his hair in that week 
when his mother was killed by his father 's down- 

After floating along a little way with the tide, 
the young man picked up his paddle and dipped 
gently forward under the bows of a hulking Brit- 
isher whose red water-line showed high above the 
surface. He heard the clank of hammers upon 
rivet-heads and plates where the vessel was being 
repaired amidships. Then he paddled ever so slow- 
ly toward a trim steam yacht the lustrous bulk of 
which now appeared ahead, shining above the dirty 
ooze like a clean, white dove in a cowyard. Truly 


the Thetis was as neat a thing as one might wish 
to see upon the water a handy boat of about four 
hundred tons, fit to sail anywhere. 

But it was not merely for the sake of a peep at 
this beautiful boat that the young man was pad- 
dling toward her as she lay there in the red eye of 
the setting sun. In truth, there was that patrician 
air about her which had irritated him somewhat 
when he had first clapped eyes upon her while 
drifting down the creek a week before. But he 
would have been free to confess that two minutes 
after the first time he had paddled over to the 
Thetis he was ready to accept the yacht and all 
aboard her on their own terms. 

For there in a wicker chair under the after awn- 
ing had sat a dark-eyed, adorable girl* with jetty 
hair, a sweet face, tanned by the sun of the sea 
and the salt winds, and with a rather slight, though 
exquisitely moulded form that was distinctly 
maidenly and yet of a truly womanly model. 

When he had first observed her, the girl of the 
yacht had looked up from a book in her lap and 
glanced at him with a little start of surprise. 
Edwin Tevis, clean-cut, stalwart and fresh-look- 
ing, in his crisp, fastidious shirt, with its uprolled 
sleeves, neat collar and tie and his belted khaki 
trousers, was a man very likely to claim more than 
a passing glimpse from any woman, young or old. 
His sudden appearance within biscuit-throw of the 
deck had surprised from her a definite look of 
approval. For an instant his knowing blue eyes 


met hers with a flash of frank admiration, and 
there was a quickening of his pulses, as if they 
had been touched by a certain urge of the blood, 
an urge that was well-nigh irresistible, and yet 
must be denied, though it prompted him to pro- 
tract his gaze beyond the conventional bounds. 
But as her eyes fell before his and as she quickly 
proceeded, in her well-bred way, to ignore him by 
returning to her book, there was, of course, no 
further sign between them save this vaguely stir- 
ring one. Tevis had paddled slowly on, with only 
now and then a quickly stolen glance backward 
at the yacht where the girl still sat quietly and 
coolly in her wicker chair under the awning. 

This divine creature, the most beautiful girl he 
had ever seen, who was she? He must see her 
again, he must know her ! 

That was the first time. On the second, third 
and fourth times when he had paddled softly and 
reverently past the Thetis, always in the evening 
when his shop-work was over, he had seen nothing 
of the young woman though his eye had been 
subtly alert for her; and each time he had dis- 
tinctly felt the loss of her trim, neatly modeled 
figure out of the pretty marine picture made by 
the yacht as she rode at anchor on the placid creek. 

So closely had he regarded the persons on deck 
in his various paddlings about the yacht that he 
had come to know some of them by sight, particu- 
larly the sprucely dressed captain and a large man 
with a red face and a trim, pointed beard, who, 


from the cut of his clothes, and more particularly 
by his great "haw-haw," which could be heard 
for a quarter-mile in the still evening air, Tevis 
had set down as an Englishman. In vain, how- 
ever, had he looked for the girl. Perhaps she had 
been only a visitor on the yacht and he might never 
see her again. Still, he could not help looking for 
her every evening as he plied his paddle up and 
down the sleepy creek. 

On the fourth evening he had given her up, and 
had come to the dismaying conclusion that he 
should never again be blest by the sight of her ; but 
this glorious fifth time, while the Thetis lay in the 
ebbing tide, his eye caught the flutter of her white 
skirt under the awning and his heart was glad. 

As he paddled a little nearer, circling astern of 
the white craft, he became aware of a curious 
change in the driftage that was going out with 
the tide. From cocoa husks, dead tules, splinters 
and planks it had changed to green and yellow 
globes that dotted all the waterscape. Melons 
hundreds of them ! They had probably been thrown 
overboard from an up-river schooner whose* con- 
signee had jettisoned the cargo rather than flood 
the market and lower the prices. 

As the canoe swung slowly astern of the yacht, 
Tevis saw the girl looking curiously down at the 
melon patch. This prodigal strewing of fruit upon 
the waters was no doubt a strange sight to her. A 
large, hulking sailor in white pushed off in the 
ship's dingey, and was picking up canteloupes and 


watermelons, one by one, and disgustedly throw- 
ing them back into the creek. 

"This is a great note!" Tevis heard him say. 
"They ain't no good all got holes in 'em. But 
they 're f resh-lookin ' enough. It 's mighty strange. 
They must 'a chipped 'em so nobody would want 
'em, the muckers! Ah, here's a good 'un. No, 
blamed if it ain't scuttled, too." 

The tide and his slow, unwilling paddle were 
moving Tevis away now, along with the melons. 
He gazed over the stern of his canoe at the girl 
of the Thetis, but she gave him no more than a 
glance or two. The sun blotted itself out below 
the island, and in the twilight he rowed back, pad- 
dling stoutly now, as he was breasting a strong 

Had he been able to look into her eyes just then 
he would have seen a gleam of admiration in them 
as they demurely regarded him from under their 
soft fringes. For the girl was uncommonly pleased 
by the sturdy ease with which he flexed his bare 
brown arms, by the stout, swinging rhythm of his 
long, masterful sweeps of the paddle and the deli- 
cate, sure feathering of it that sent the canoe fly- 
ing straight as a conical bullet. 

He was a little reluctant to look up, as he did 
not wish to seem to be rudely staring at her. But 
when he had passed the stern of the Thetis, ven- 
turing quite close this time, he gazed back. There 
she was, blithe and winsome as ever, chirping a 
little song that sounded ever so sweet upon the 


evening air. So rapt was he in the contemplation 
of her pure profile, as she looked townward across 
the water, that he relaxed his stroke and paddled 
slowly away like a man in a state of hypnosis su- 
perinduced by the rare vision of her. 

Of a sudden there was a slight bump at his bow 
and a booming yell : 

"Hey, there, you lubber! What d'ye mean by 
runnin' me down this way? I'll smash that canoe 
for you, that 's what I will ! ' ' 

These pleasant words were immediately fol- 
lowed by a smart blow upon Tevis ' head from the 
flat of an oar. Whether the knock was intentional 
or not was all the same to the young man's quick 
blood. Hotly and rather dizzily, he reached out, 
grasped the wet oar-blade and almost wrenched it 
from the hand that had wielded it against him, 
recklessly risking the upsetting of the canoe. There 
in the rocking dingey was the big sailor whose 
melon salvage had been so disappointing. He 
commanded Tevis to let go the oar, giving it an- 
other tug, as he did so, and nearly sending them 
both into the water. Still hot and dizzy from the 
blow, Tevis grimly held on, with a vague punitive 
notion in his bedazed head. But soon the man in 
the dingey got some sort of sailor's twist to bear, 
and the slippery blade would have run through 
Tevis' fingers, but that he ducked his head and 
grasped the oar well forward of the flat end, tug- 
ging desperately and bringing the two boats smart- 


ly together. While the boatmen struggled the 
canoe rocked violently and once almost capsized. 

"You won't let go, eh?" the man in the dingey 
bellowed, fiercely; and before Tevis could sense 
his action he had leaned over into the canoe, and, 
with a lupine lunge of his head, sunk his sharp 
fangs into the young man's forearm, bringing the 
red blood out with a spurt. Tevis loosed the teeth- 
hold by a handy blow on the man's jaw. Then, 
quickly looping his painter into a ring at the stern 
of the dingey, he sprang lightly aboard it and with 
all the urge of his young spirit, made at the man, 
bent upon instant revenge. 

After a little tentative give-and-take, while the 
two boats side-wiped the yacht, Tevis sprang at 
his man, and clamping his stout fingers, about the 
loose-shirted waist of him, he yanked him toward 
the stern of the dingey, his long body toppling 
neatly across the thwarts, threshing in the stalwart 
young fellow's hard grasp and finally coming down 
under him upon the clean bottom planks, where 
he lay gasping between his knees. It may have 
been that he sat upon his fallen foeman rather 
rudely, and certainly the throat-hold he now had 
upon him was not a gentle one; but if the man 
under him had been anything but the great -sheep 
that he was he would not have bleated and bawled 
as he did : 

"Help, boys, help !" he gurgled throatily. "He's 
chokin' me. He's killin' me! He's desperit, he 


A wild cry rang from the girl of the Thetis : 

"Don't hurt him, don't!" she called to Tevis 
imploringly, her face as white as the skirt she 

"Oh," said he, looking up at her as she leaned 
over the rail, and speaking as calmly and reas- 
suringly as he could. "I don't intend to injure 
him. He has probably learned his lesson by this 

As he said this he let go the prostrate man's 
throat, and, rising, stood over him rather unguard- 
edly. He was not a little embarrassed by the show 
of hostility that had been necessary on his part. 
To have come to fisticuffs in the presence of this 
charming young creature was deplorable. But, as 
it turned out, he acted upon these delicate con- 
siderations rather too hastily, for his prostrate 
foe shared none of them. 

"You saw how it was, ' ' Tevis went on, gazing up 
at the girl "how the affair began?" 

"Oh, yes!" said she, "I saw it all, and he 
shouldn 't have been so Look out ! Look out ! ' ' 

At that instant he felt a hard grip about his 
ankles. The savage man had seized them tightly, 
with the evident intention of tripping him and 
throwing him overboard. The dingey was rolling 
wildly, the gunwales scooping water. With his 
legs well braced, Tevis leaned over and tried to 
grapple the man in turn, but only in a defensive 
way. He could have struck him in the face had 
he cared to, and thus ended his foul tackling, but 


he still felt the constraining presence of the girl. 
So he merely gripped the fellow's shoulders while 
she cried out, her voice now sounding a little far- 
ther away, as the tide carried the boat astern with 
the canoe in tow: 

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Will nobody stop this 
terrible fight! Sir Charles! Sir Charles! They'll 
kill each other. Why don't you men forward there 
do something!" 

Tevis had caught a glimpse of the "men for- 
ward," whose grins fully evidenced their hearty 
appreciation of the fight. 

There were hurrying feet on the deck and the 
round red face of the Britisher whom Tevis had 
before noted on the yacht glared over the rail, 
through a glittering monocle. 

"I say, my men, what's all the row!" cried the 
Briton. " Here, you fellow, break away ! Let our 
man alone ! He's a peaceable sailor. I'll have you 
run in. ' ' 

"Oh, yes, he's peaceable," panted Tevis, with- 
out taking his wary eyes off his man. He's " 

The great brute pushed heavily to one side, giv- 
ing the boat a mighty lurch, which threw the young 
man over the gunwale and into the water, while 
at the same time his fierce antagonist let go his 
ankles, with a shove that sent him down like a 
piece of pig iron. When he rose, spluttering, with 
a quart of muddy water gurgling inside him, he 
was near the dingey. He threw out his hand to 
clutch the side ; but at that moment down came the 


club-end of an oar upon his unguarded head. There 
was a great buzzing in his brain, as of a mighty 
machine, a gurgling in his ear, a raspy feeling in 
throat and nostrils, a far-away throb-throb-throb- 
bing, and then the stark emptiness of a mind inert! 



"!T was a bully scrap, that's what it was, but a 
mighty unfair one. That Bill Jenkins is the most 
cowardly cuss. Steward, he's opening his eyes. 
He's all right!" 

' ' Yes, he's all right." 

"Tevis blinked in the fierce glow of an incan- 
descent light in the little cabin. It seemed as 
though it would blind him. His head ached, his 
lungs were sore, but there was a quick revival of 
the spirit, so that presently he bobbed his head up 
and, though all abroad at first, he soon took in 
the situation. It seemed natural enough that he 
should find himself aboard ship, so much had the 
Thetis been in his mind of late. 

" Where is he where 's that fighting fellow?" 
he demanded. 

"Jenkins?" said the sleek-faced steward. 
"Don't bother about him. He's vamoosed dead 
scared of the lock-up, I guess." 

"Am I on the yacht?" 

"You are, but you came near being on the bot- 
tom of the creek by this time. How does your head 
feel pretty rotten, eh? That was a nasty knock 



he gave you with his oar. He's the foulest fighter 
that ever went to sea a regular stingaree, don't 
you think?" 

"I certainly think," said Tevis grimly; "but all 
the same, if you'll take his oars and clubs and 
things away from him, I'll go ashore with the 
beast and give him the soundest walloping he ever 

"I guess you ain't afraid of him," said the 
steward, smiling, "and I'd give a heap to see the 
mill, but the Captain will fix him all right, if he 
catches him knocking people in the head with 
oars and all before Miss Braisted, too. He'll get 
what's comin' to him, don't worry about that." 

"That's what he will," said the other man, "if 
they catch him." 

There was a light footfall outside the cabin door 
and a sweet voice asked solicitously: ' 

"How is he?" It was the voice of the girl of 
the yacht. 

"He's come around, miss. He's all right now." 

"Thank you, I'm awfully glad to hear it," said 
the girl graciously. i l See that he doesn't want for 
anything, and let him rest all he will." 

She went away. Soon afterward Tevis thrust 
his legs out of the bunk, and sat up, with his hands 
to his head. 

"Don't worry about me," he said to the stew- 
ard. "I'm going ashore. I've bothered you folks 
enough. It wasn't your fault that that fellow was 
such a crazy-horse. Where's ray canoe?" 


1 ' She 's tied alongside. She 's all right. ' ' 

The steward tried to induce Tevis to stay on 
board until morning, but he was all for getting 
ashore. His head throbbed, but before long he 
felt fit to take care of himself, though somewhat 
dubious as to his clothes which were wet and un- 

When, about eight in the evening, he left the 
steward's cabin, dry and clean, in an odd assort- 
ment of old toggery a pair of dark-blue trousers, 
a world too wide and with a broad white stripe 
running down the leg, and a frayed smoking- jacket 
of a faded wine color, strangely patterned and 
padded and also grotesquely loose, he was con- 
ducted by the steward toward the companion. The 
way was along a passage and through the bril- 
liantly lighted, wonderfully carved and paneled 

"You needn't direct me any further, steward/' 
said Tevis, as he sighted the stairway at the other 
end of the saloon. l ' Thank you very much. You 've 
been awfully good to me, and I shall never forget 
it. Good-bye!" 

"Good-bye, sir!" said the steward, turning back 
down the passage. 

With his bundle of soggy clothing, in his hand, 
Tevis took a few steps forward and, hearing a 
jingle of piano-strings, paused, awkwardly con- 
scious of his strange dress. For there at a piano 
at the other end of the saloon, with her back to- 
ward him and close to the companion, which, as 


far as he knew, was his sole means of escape, was 
the lustrous girl of the yacht in evening dress. 
Near her on a divan was the big, red-faced, Eng- 
lishman whom she had called "Sir Charles" on 
deck and who had remonstrated with Tevis during 
the battle in the boats. Sir Charles was also fault- 
lessly attired. With what to Tevis was intolerable 
solicitude he addressed the young woman as 
"Hazel," which he voted at once as an undue 
familiarity. He had never known a girl named 
Hazel. It was a neat name and he liked it. 

As he stood hesitating the girl turned and, see- 
ing him in his motley garb, burst forth in a light 
laugh which she immediately suppressed with her 
dainty finger-tips, while her liquid brown eyes, 
still possessed of the spirit of girlish merriment, 
looked at him from across the saloon. It was un- 
bearable to him that his odd appearance should 
seem so irresistibly piquant to this beautiful vision 
of young womanhood that had floated so seraphi- 
cally in and out of his dreams. Her laughter 
pricked his proud spirit. There was this, though, 
about her laugh it made her seem a little more 
like the girls he knew. There had seemed some- 
thing distinctly divine and unapproachable about 
her before; but that light, tinkling laugh of hers 
was essentially human. It gave him courage to 
say, with a slight note of injury : 

"I am very sorry to have given you all this 
trouble. I didn't want to alarm you or bother you, 
but the fight was forced upon me, as you saw 


Thank you very much, indeed, for your kindness. 
Thank you and good-bye !" 

Her face changed instantly and her brown eyes 
took on a sober tone. 

"I'm awfully sorry it happen ed," she said, with 
becoming concern. t i The man is a brute and ought 
to be in jail. He's always looking for trouble. 
I don't know why the captain has kept him so long. 
If it's any satisfaction to you, you may rest as- 
sured that his term of service on this yacht is 
over." This with the air of one in whom resided 

There were a few commonplaces and a casual 
remark or two from Sir Charles. Whenever the 
girl looked at Tevis she smiled roguishly, showing 
an array of dazzling teeth in one of which there 
was a little glint of gold. But to Tevis the aris- 
tocratic, monocled Sir Charles was a snow man 
in evening dress. The Britain addressed none of 
his talk to him and only once or twice did his cold 
gray eyes look his way, when his expressionless 
stare seemed calculated to make a snow man of 
Tevis in turn. He had a feeling that he would like 
to crush that monocle. But what was even less 
bearable intolerant, in fact was the ill-sup- 
pressed mirth of the girl. He felt his face burn 
as he said " Good-bye" again and left the saloon, 
glancing back as he did so into the mischievously 
laughing eyes that had caught a rearward and 
newly ridiculous view of his wine-colored jacket 
and all-too-ample trousers. But beyond her 


shoulder Sir Charles, the snow man, sat as rigid 
and refrigerant as ever. 

When he reached the deck the free air gave him 
a wonderful accession of spirits, probably aided a 
little by the temper he was in over the girPs too 
keen sense of humor. He was told by the first 
officer that the Captain had wished to see him 
before he left the yacht. The Captain had gone' 
ashore to meet the owner and Tevis was told he 
had better stay until his return, which would be 
soon. But the young man was in no mood to wait. 
He got into his canoe a little stiffly, his head-pang 
still reminding him of the combat. Just as he was 
paddling away from the yacht in the bright moon- 
light, Sir Charles must have come on deck, for he 
heard him gruff out : 

1 i Gad, what an extraordinary affair ! ' ' 

Precisely what had been said or done to bring 
forth this cool remark, which was doubtless in- 
tended for Tevis' ears, could not be guessed by 
the young man, but it made him set his teeth de- 
fiantly. He paddled ashore with a quick stroke, his 
wet clothes dripping from the stern. Over the 
quiet water there came the rumble of men's voices 
from the yacht, and once he heard the heavy 
" Haw-haw" of the baronet. 

Of a sudden the voices ceased as the men went 
below. A few minutes later, looking back in the 
moonlight, Tevis saw the white skirt of the girl 
of the Thetis. She was standing on the upper 


deck and clear of the shadow of the awning. He 
wondered if her eyes were following him ashore. 

When he reached the long, empty dock, he saw 
one of the yacht 's boats lying alongside a float by 
the steps, with two of the crew in it. 

"There's the canoe chap now," he heard one 
sailor say. 

"Yes, that's him," said another. 

When the boy at the dock had taken charge of 
his canoe, Tevis climbed the steps wearily. A man 
was about to descend. As he came down he recog- 
nized him in the moonlight as the Captain of the 
Thetis, whom he had seen several times aboard 
the yacht when he had paddled about her, eager 
for a glimpse of the girl. The Captain was fol- 
lowed by a stoutish gentleman who wore a white 
waistcoat and was smoking a cigar. An arc light 
that flashed from the pier made their faces plain 
to him. 

"Good evening," came the Captain's greeting. 
"You're the man who was in the fight, aren't you! 
How do you feel now? Did they take care of you 
aboard! I told them to." 

"Oh ? I'm all right," said Tevis. "How's Jen- 
kins f What became of him ? ' ' 

"He's skipped off ashore," said the Captain 
significantly, "and I guess he'll stay there. He'll 
never do any more fighting aboard or about the 

He went back up the steps with Tevis to where 
the stout gentleman stood on the wharf a smooth- 


ly groomed elderly man whose air bespoke an easy 
command of affairs. He seemed bland enough 
when, after the Captain's explanation of Tevis, he 
asked with friendly concern : 

"Can we do anything for you, young man! I 
wasn't aboard when it happened, but Captain 
Durable has told me all about the mix-up in the 
boat, how you were nearly drowned, and the part 
my daughter played in the matter. ' ' 

His daughter! She was his daughter! Then 
he was a man to be respected. There was no room 
for doubt in Tevis' mind that he was face to face 
with the owner of the Thetis. 

"It was certainly not your fault," the gentle- 
man went on, "and you were very harshly treat- 
ed. The fellow should have been arrested. As 
he was one of our crew I thought we owed 
you -" 

' ' Oh, ' ' said Tevis, bent on checking any benevo- 
lent scheme he might be evolving on his account, 
"don't bother about it. It's all over now, and I 
think I got in a few punches that Mr. Jenkins will 
remember. ' ' 

"You look as though you could give a good ac- 
count of yourself," said Hazel's father. "But by 
the way, Captain, you didn't introduce us." 

"My name is Tevis," said the young man, 
"Edwin Tevis." 

"Tevis? I know a banker back East named 

"He's probably no relation of mine," was the 


reply. "My family haven't had much to do with 
the banks of late years. " 

"May be they're just as well off," said the other 
sighing, and Tevis fancied he understood the sig- 
nificance of the sigh. A look into the face of this 
over-prosperous possessor of yachts and other 
highly-esteemed luxuries, under the glowing arc 
light, seemed to reveal to him a spirit dominated 
by a vague misgiving, though it was well supported 
by the dignity of dollars a dignity which the 
young man had held rather cheap. "My name is 
Braisted," he went on, "and this is Captain 

The Captain bowed. Tevis, in returning the sal- 
utation, trusted that the shadows were subduing 
the picturesqueness of his oddly matched suit. He 
was uneasy and was all for making away and 
getting home; but he felt himself held by their 
talk and lived for the moment in their polite ex- 

"Mr. Braisted is the owner," said Captain 
Dumble in the deferential tone of a man who is 
owned along with a boat. "We're from New 

Tevis had guessed as much, for he knew that 
from no other American port could so large and 
luxurious a pleasure craft have hailed. 

"You have voyaged a long way," he ventured, 
addressing Braisted. 

"Yes." Again that pitiful sigh, and again that 
look of misgiving a look as of a swift lapse into 


some past terror. Then the face became firm. 
"It was a long trip, but we had pleasant weather 
all the way." 

And yet the memory of it was certainly not an 
agreeable one, else why the sigh and the dark look? 

Captain Durable changed the subject. 

"You were pretty well soaked, Mr. Tevis, when 
you were rescued, " he remarked. 

Eescued! Tevis started a little. To be sure! 
Some one aboard the yacht had saved him from 
drowning in the creek, and here he was ungrate- 
fully anxious to get home, without having made a 
single inquiry about the man who had saved him. 

"Pardon me, gentlemen, " he said, feeling rather 
mean; "but I have forgotten to thank whoever it 
was that fished me out of the creek." 

"Bless me!" said the Captain, and there were 
odd looks on both their faces. "Don't you know? 
Didn't the men tell you? I guess they forget to 
because they were a little ashamed. Instead of 
lowering a boat on the instant, as I ordered, they 
went running and fumbling about with life-buoys 
and other silly things that couldn't have been of 
any earthly use to you, as you were stunned by the 
blow and clean under water." 

"Yes; but who was it who did it?" asked 
Tevis hastily. ' 1 1 want to thank and reward him. ' ' 

"It was Miss Braisted," said the Captain 

"Miss Braisted?" gasped the young man, star- 
ing at him unbelievingly. 


"Yes, sir, my daughter," said the stout man, 
full of fatherly pride. "She's a wonderful swim- 
mer. Of course it was a risky thing for her to do 
in skirts, but she didn't have to swim very far. 
She just threw off her jacket and shoes and 
jumped right in." 

"But but " stammered Tevis, utterly 

taken aback. 

"Yes," said the Captain. "She didn't lose a 
minute, but just leaped from the rail, and struck 
out for the place where you had gone down. She 
had to dive to get hold of you you never would 
have risen again but she brought you up all right 
and made for the dingey, where Bill, who was 
pretty badly scared by the outcome of the affair, 
sat like a stone until she commanded him to pull 
you in. She's a mighty brave girl, is Miss 

"She is that!" Tevis fervently affirmed, "and I 
must see her and thank her. She is a heroine, if 
ever there was one. But how did she do it 1 " 

' ' Oh, she simply struck out and did it, ' ' said the 
proud father. "She's perfectly at home in the 
water. ' ' 

He rattled on abput some of his daughter's 
swimming exploits. On his side Tevis said little, 
but he felt sufficiently embarrassed, for through it 
all ran the thought, what manner of man did she 
consider him ? He had not thanked her. But, after 
all, she must have seen his ignorance of the part 
she had played. How stupidly strange it was that 


the men aboard the Thetis had taken it for granted 
that he was aware of the one vital circumstance 
which, next to being saved, most concerned him! 

* ' Excuse me, gentlemen, ' ' he said at last. * l But 
I'm going home to take these masquerading things 
off. Then if it isn't too late to see Miss Braisted, 
I'll go aboard, with your permission, and give her 
my heartiest thanks. Meantime, Mr. Braisted," 
he added, grasping the full, soft hand of the owner 
of the Thetis, and giving it a wrench that made 
him wince, " please explain my unaccountable 
action to your daughter. Thank her for me now, 
and I'll do so in person when I am presentable. ' ? 

He left them and hastened to his room, feeling 
at every step of the way a cringing sense of his 
seeming ingratitude. His only comforting thought 
was that the girl must have seen that he did not 
know she was his rescuer. But what a situation 
for a stalwart young man, himself a two-mile 
swimmer if not a perfect amphibian ! It was re- 
versing all romance. Ah, if only the chance had 
been offered him to save her life! How gladly 
would he have dived to the deepest depths of the 
bay or of the ocean itself! But all this is not to 
say that he was not extremely grateful to the girl 
to whom he owed his life. She was a very courage- 
ous young woman, this Hazel Braisted. He re- 
peated the name Hazel Braisted. It was as full 
of poetry for him as the sweetest sonnet. 

The air of his room seemed intolerable when he 
entered it and began to dress, and he threw up all 


the windows. He had such a febrile, depressed 
feeling that he sank for a moment upon his bed 
and felt the grateful ease of it. It was hard to 
pull himself together to rise again. Would not to- 
morrow do for his errand 1 No ; it must be tonight. 
But he owned this much to himself : For no other 
creature on earth would he have made this harsh 
call upon his flagging spirits for no one but the 
adorable girl of the Thetis. In what a short time 
had she gained this wonderful hold upon him! 
And she had saved his life! Surely that was a 
sort of bond between them. Whatever else might 
happen, she could never forget him. 

He rose, still a little dazed, and began to dress. 
It was nearly an hour later that he reached the 
dock, stirred up the sleepy boatman and ordered 
out his canoe. Looking down the creek as he was 
about to descend the stairs, he paused of a sudden 
and ran his hand across his eyes. Were his fever- 
ish state and his excitement blinding him ? Where 
was the Thetis? He paddled out a little way and 
looked down the moonpath over the unquiet 
water. Was she really gone ? The cool night wind 
fanned his face and the gug-gug-guggle of the low 
waves under the bow mocked the emptiness of his 

Yes, the yacht had run out on the ebb tide, 
whether to sea or only somewhere down the bay he 
could not tell. Like one obsessed, he clutched the 
paddle and made the canoe fly along in mighty 
bayward sweeps. Bounding a point, he saw a low 


smoke down by the mole at the mouth of the creek, 
a good two miles away. 

He turned and paddled slowly back toward the 
town. His lovely girl savior was gone, unthanked, 
without a word, without a sign of appreciation 
from one for whom she had risked her own life. 
Well, the hour would come maybe on the morrow, 
if insufferable thought ! she were not out upon 
the open sea by that time, and the muddy Oakland 
Creek and the incident of the canoe were to her but 
passing dreams. But no ; she had saved his life 
she could never forget him of that much he felt 



Out of the low smoke-drift of the speeding yacht 
a luminous idea came to him: He would hasten 
ashore and telephone to the Marine Exchange. 
There he could learn if the Thetis were leaving 
port. It took almost the last remnant of his day's 
strength to do this, but he did it. From the nearest 
telephone station he rang up the Exchange. Was 
the steam yacht Thetis of New York going to sea 
that night? No. To what anchorage was she mov- 
ing, then? The clerk did not know probably 
somewhere up the bay. No other words, but they 
were enough. She had not sailed. 

He took a trolley car for home and arriving 
there at last, threw himself upon his bed. The room 
went round for a while, but in an hour or so he 
,felt easier, and sagged down into a heavy sleep. 

In the morning, so potent are the recuperative 
processes of youth and love, he was up early and 
again at the telephone. Nobody could tell him 
where the Thetis was. At nine o 'clock he called up 
the Exchange once more and was rejoiced to learn 
that the yacht was at anchor off Sausalito. Good! 



He would take the ferryboat and call over before 
noon. It was a strange, but, as it seemed to him, 
an imperative errand; and he should see Hazel 
again. Hazel ! How much acquainted he had be- 
come with that name ! It seemed that he had known 
it and its owner all his life. 

But it was a rush day in the shop where he 
worked. Customers came thronging in and the" 
telephone kept buzzing forth all sorts of super- 
fluous orders. He was the head electrician, and 
that he sent the other men out on all the jobs that 
offered themselves that morning may readily be 
understood. If his employer had not chosen that 
time of all others to absent himself, he might have 
gotten away, but just at the hour when he surely 
counted upon his coming, he called him up by tele- 
phone to say that he had gone to San Pablo to 
' * figure " on a contract for lighting a new hotel, 
and would not be back before two. While Tevis 
had him on the wire he asked to be let off for a 
couple of hours. He did not care to impart the 
nature of his mission, but tried to impress him 
with its urgency. The reply from his employer was 
that he would like very much to oblige him, but 
that this was an emergency day. He would return 
at two, and Tevis could be off all the afternoon if 

Fuming over this intolerable situation, Tevis 
cursed a little under his breath, slammed the re- 
ceiver upon the hook and glanced indifferently 
toward two persons, evidently more tiresome cus- 


tomers, who were slowly entering the shop, closely 
scanning everything as they came in. 

What was running through his head at that mo- 
ment while he was full of the fret of the situation 
was characteristic of his temperament: Why 
should he ever have become a mastered man* a 
man who was told to come or to stay at the will of 
another? All his lifelong yearning to be free, to 
be master of his own times and seasons, came over 
him in an influent tide that recked not of restraint. 
Ah, if his invention had only proved successful I 
He had always hated the shop-life and its circum- 
scribed affairs, and now it irked him more than 

With a touch of scorn, he looked sharply at the 
two incoming customers. They were a man and 
a woman. The man was a grizzled, sea-going look 
ing old chap, short and rather slim, with a fuzzy 
beard, a mild blue eye, a small chin and a flabby 
under-lip. He paused and leaned against the 
counter, fingering some wire-coils that lay upon it. 

Tevis looked at him inquiringly over the counter 
and, with the tail of his eye, took in the figure of 
the woman. So remarkable was this creature that 
he found himself turning to look at her, rather than 
at her husband, for such was his plain relation to 
her. The woman was tall a full head higher than 
the man. She had a cold, hard, compelling eye, as 
black as obsidian, and yet of a wonderfully pene- 
trating quality. Her thin, dark hair, parted in the 
ancient manner, was touched by the first frost, but 


she seemed unaccountably old and knowing a 
woman of cosmic, seeress-like wisdom. She had a 
sharp face, about which the wrinkles hung like the 
meshes of a tattered veil, a mouth that closed with 
a set of certitude, and a nose that suggested the 
Apache. There was a deep vertical line in her 
forehead and some smaller ones on each side of it. 
She looked like a " down-easter, ' ' probably from 
one of the coast towns. With all her Puritan- 
seeming severity she had a salt-sea ruddiness 
about her, and one would not have been surprised 
to note a trace of sea-weed in her hair. The ma- 
rine sentiment she suggested was heightened by a 
wide, wabbling gait, the walk of sailor-folk the 
world over. She was dressed in a dark blouse and 
skirt, the blouse, though loose fitting, revealing 
the boniness of her long waist and the sharpness 
of her elbows. On her head was a little sailor hat 
that gave her a jauntiness not very becoming to 
her years, yet well in keeping with her marine air 
and make-up. 

"Well, Jim," she rasped sharply to her hesitat- 
ing husband, "I'd like to know why you don't tell 
the young man what you come for. ' ' 

The little man played with the wires a moment 
longer, while Tevis looked over the counter ex- 
pectantly and with an all-too-apparent impatience, 
which probably had a repellant effect upon the 
mild-mannered man who stood before him. At any 
rate when the mariner's blinking bat-eyes glanced 
furtively toward the young electrician and met his 


full and forbidding gaze, they turned quickly to- 
ward the wires. 

"I wanted ' he began and then stopped, wav- 
ing one hand as if to clutch the fugitive words out 
of the circumambient air. 

"Merciful me!" cried the woman. "I'd like to 
know ! ' ' She bit off her syllables as if they were 
so many pieces of sea biscuit. Then she looked at 
Tevis with a mixed air of business and bravado. 
"Don't mind him," she said "he's barnacled." 

"I beg pardon?" asked Tevis interested in this 
odd pair in spite of himself. 

' ' He 's barnacled and a little down by the head 
can't get it out all at once; but it will come in a 
minute. He knows what he wants. ' ' 

"Course I know what I want," said the little 
man, with surprising alacrity, considering his first 
faltering. "I want to know if you've got all the 
stuff needed for submarine lighting wires and 
water-tight globes that give a lot of light and a 
man to run the outfit?" 

' " That 's right, ' ' said the woman, ' ' a man to run 
the outfit only you ought to have asked about the 
man first. He 'd tell you what you want when you 
get hxja." 

"We have everything in the way of illumin- 
ants," answered Tevis, rather carelessly and ig- 
noring the ancient sea bird's remark, for, some- 
how, he Sid "not care to deal with her, and rather 
resented her interpolations. 

But she was not to be ignored. 


"We want to see our man first/' said she, "then 
we can talk business. There's no use getting 
waterlogged with a lot of 

' ' You want an electrician of some experience, I 
suppose," said Tevis testily, looking at the man. 
"I can get you one, no doubt, if you will tell me 
what kind of a plant he is to handle. ' ' 

' l Well, I 'd like to know ! ' ' clicked out the woman. 
"Ain't it plain enough? Submarine, he said, 
didn 't he ? " There was a hint of contempt for his 
suggestions. "That means under water. The 
lights are to go under water." 

The young man behind the counter breathed an 
impatient sigh. 

"Yes; but how far under water, and for what 
kind of work?" 

The man and woman looked at each other. Evi- 
dently they did not care to discuss their plans witE 
anybody but the electrician whom they should 

' ' Oh, tell him, ' ' said the woman, and, as the man 
remained silent, she said with another touch of 
bravado, * ' Wrecking. Going to raise a bark down 
to the islands. That's all you need to know. Now 
how about the man the electrician? Is this the 
right shop to get one at, and if not, where is it ? " 

Tevis ' heart was beating fast. The islands ! Did 
fate send this man and woman here in the hour 
of his revolt, and to what purpose? His projective 
fancy sketched a vague picture of coral reefs and 
a long, low point of land from which waved a cocoa 


palm with green fingers beckoning to him through 
the gold-haze of the tropics. 

"What's the pay?" he asked, looking rather 
sharply at the old sea dog. 

"I don't know," was the reply. "Perhaps two 
hundred a month, if he's an expert. Don't you 
think so, Emily?" 

"When do you start?" Tevis cut in before the 
woman could reply 

"About ten days," he said. 

"And you go to the islands what islands!" 
asked Tevis. 

"Look here, mister," said the woman resent- 
fully, her forehead quickly barred with sinister 
lines, "we asked you if you knew of a man for this 
job. We didn't say he was for us or when or how 
or where. We don't want to drop anchor till we 
get into port." 

"That's all right," was the quick reply, "but 
how* do you know I 'm not your man ? ' ' 

"You?" The little mariner looked at him like 
one relieved. "They tell me you're an expert in 
your line, ' ' said he. ' ' Would you really go ? " 

* ' Yes ; perhaps ; if I knew a little more about the 
enterprise. Wait a minute. There 's the 'phone. " 

He went to the telephone which grated into his 
unwilling ear the pleasant information that if 
would be four o'clock before his employer could 
return. A plague on shops ! Here was an island 
adventure and fifty dollars a month more than his 


present salary. Hurrying back to the counter, he 

"I'll go, if it's all straight, and there's a full 
month's pay in advance." 

"Why," said the old salt, "it's straight as a 
tow line, and I guess you can have the two hundred 
down; don't you think so, Emily?" 

"Yes," said the woman. "Now let's get down 
to business. You know this is to be all confiden- 

In the little back office, where, with much inward 
excitement, Tevis put question after question, it 
came out that the couple were Captain and Mrs. 
Thrale; that Captain Thrale was the owner an3 
master of the two-hundred ton schooner Tropic 
Bird of the island trade; that the wreck he was 
undertaking to exploit lay in a sheltered cove off 
Tutuila, one of the Samoan group. Then they en- 
tered into the details of the electric outfit, though, 
as the captain said, he was "only figuring on it" 
that day; he wanted to get "some idea." Mrs. 
Thrale sat a little apart, satisfied for the time to 
leave affairs in masculine hands. 

If Tevis had been impatient of the frequent 
dropping-in of customers earlier in the morning, he 
was still more impatient now, but between the sell- 
ing of spools of bell wire, dry-cell batteries, and 
induction coils, and the taking of orders for re- 
pairs, he managed to give the captain a very good 
idea of what would be required for the lighting 
outfit. Thrale had a little piece of penciled paper 


which he consulted from time to time, checking off, 
scratching out or adding to his list. 

"How about that new kind of light, Mr. Tevis, 
the powerful one that comes in long tubes," he 

"Mercury arcs?" 

"Yes; I guess that's it. How'd they go?" 

* ' Oh, you don't want mercury arcs for that work, 
Captain," he suggested. "You couldn't carry 
them around very well under water, and they're 
awfully expensive." 

"But we need a good strong light one that will 
make deep bottom look like that carpet there, and 
so as we can work all night if we have to. But of 
course, it's got to be portable and handy and not 
get out of order too easy ! ' ' 

' ' Then what you want is triple glower Nehrsts 
hundred candle-power would be about right. 
That '11 give you a light you can pick up pins by at 
ten fathoms on a dark night. I 've seen them tried 
in the bay. ' ' 

"And the water-tight globes and sockets?" 

"No trouble about them, but I've got to do a 
little figuring on the wiring. Is it going to be used 
in rough places over rocks and the like ? ' ' 

"I guess so," mused the Captain with a far- 
away look in his eyes. "Oh, it will be rough 

"Well, you know the covering wears off under 
such conditions," explained the electrician. 
"There's an extra heavy insulated wire they make 


for just that sort of work. It comes in thousand- 
foot coils. You ought to take along about three 
coils, so as to have plenty." 

"Whatever you say," said the Captain. "You're 
to be boss of the lighting outfit, and of course you 
know we don't want to get caught out of material 
a thousand miles from nowhere." 

He fingered his memorandum sheets. Just then 
a medical customer thrust his head into the office 
and asked for a cauterizing instrument in a hurry. 
The memorandum slips seemed to remind the Cap- 
tain of something important. 

"May I use your 'phone?" he asked, suddenly. 

"Certainly; take the one on the desk," said 
Tevis, going out to wait on his customer. 

He was gone but a few minutes from the back 
office, during which he saw as he glanced through 
the glass that Captain Thrale, who seemed to have 
no great acquaintance with the telephone, was 
having some difficulty in making himself under- 
stood by the person at the other end of the wire, 
though never once did he raise his voice. As Tevis 
re-entered the little room, the Captain was speak- 
ing low into the transmitter and repeating: "Yes, 
to-morrow night; to-morrow night; same hour; 
same place." 

Mrs. Thrale gave a furtive glance as the young 
man entered and reaching over, touched her hus- 
band's arm. 

"Good-bye," he said in the same low tone, and 


hung up the receiver, with a jerk, turning toward 
Tevis with an uneasy look. 

"Well, Mr. Tevis," said he, "if you'll come 
down to the schooner Thursday, any time before 
noon, I'll be glad to see you again and talk things 
over. And, remember, you are to say nothing 
about this cruise of ours." 

"Absolutely nothing," was the ready promise. 

They passed out, Mrs. Thrale walking ahead in 
the superior manner which characterized her at- 
titude toward the Captain. 

A few minutes later Tevis glanced at the desk in 
the back office. On the blue blotter by the tele- 
phone lay a little slip of paper. On it was scrawled 
in pencil : 

"Captain Dumble, Clay 1006." 

Captain Dumble, of the Thetis! 

Tevis recalled the words he had heard Thrale 
repeat into the telephone: "To-morrow night; 
same hour; same place." 

The baffling witchery of events! All day long 
had he been awaiting a chance to go the Thetis, the 
vessel of enchantment, the floating home of the girl 
who now meant more to him than any living crea- 
ture, and here, out of his own office, had gone a 
message to her captain. 

It was strange, but not so very strange. For, 
after all, in the free comradery of sea-going folk, 
why should not the captain of the Thetis know the 
captain of the Tropic Bird, and make an appoint- 
ment with him by wire or otherwise I 


During the lunch hour, Tevis, who had been 
thinking a great deal about Captain Thrale 's 
schooner, decided that he would go down and get a 
glimpse of her. So he cut short his mid-day meal, 
and, leaving a boy in the shop, took a car for the 
Creek. Getting off at Taylor's wharf, he walked 
quickly through the gate and, looking down a long 
lumber-pile perspective, saw the two masts of a 
schooner which, he judged, must be the Tropic 
Bird. At the water's edge he read her name on 
the rusty-looking stern. 

" She's overdue at the boneyard," he commented 
as he gazed at the old schooner, "but most of the 
boats of the island trade are ancient mariners. 
Yes; she's an antique all right." 

There was a bustle aboard and overside, men 
going and coming, carrying supplies in boxes and 
bags. At the shore end of the gangway he saw 
little Captain Thrale talking with a large marine- 
looking man with a low brow whose face he thought 
he had seen somewhere before. As he approached 
the gangway, the big sailor, who was speaking to 
Thrale, shifted his position a little so that his back 
was toward the young man. 

"Yes, Captain," he heard the fellow say very 
deferentially, his cap in his hand, "I'm as handy 
a man aboard ship as ever you saw you don't 
make no mistake a-hirin' me." 

"Jenkins!" muttered Tevis, with a quick scowl 
and a flash of his blue-gray eye. Then abruptly 
and without uttering a word, he sprang upon the 


man, his strong hands clutching him by the back 
of the neck with a grip of steel. 

" Hello there !" gurgled Jenkins, "let go! You 
hurt, don't you know it!" 

"Of course I know it!" was the cool reply. 
"How are you, Captain Thrale!" 

"Why, bless me!" cried the Captain, "It's 
Tevis, the electrician. ' ' 

"Yes, Captain; and I want to say something 
about this man." Jenkins wriggled and tried to 
turn about, but he was held as firmly as if his head 
were in the stocks. "You don't want him aboard 
your ship, and I'll tell you why." 

Hastily, while Jenkins struggled in his harsh 
grasp, he gave the Captain an impressionistic 
sketch of his treatment at the man's hands. 

' ' Dear me ! ' ' exclaimed the mild-mannered little 

"He's a lyin', Captain!" gasped Jenkins. "I 
don't know him at all, blame me if I do!" He 
writhed futilely in the implacable grasp. 

"Oh, you know me all right," drawled Tevis, 
shaking the man so that his jaws clicked together, 
1 i and, damn you, you'll know me a lot better before 
you're much older. Turn round now ! Excuse me, 
Captain. ' ' 

He let go of Jenkins ' throat, dodged a swinging 
blow aimed at him by the enraged beast, whose 
eyes blazed like a mad bull 's, and planted his hard 
fist on the man's cheek. 

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Qroscup's Synchronic Chart 






Oar Nation' 
A u, 

For the Teaffi 
dent, th 

The Chart, 



cut shows 
how the chart, 
folded and bound 
at end of volume, 
may be read, page by 
je, or drawn out into 
full view. 

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"That's a good one," cried a sailor, dropping 
the bag he was carrying up the gangway. 

"It was like the kick of a mule," said another 
nian; and they all gathered about interestedly 
-hile Captain Thrale stood, with wide-opened 
yes, repeating "Dear me dear me!" 
At the word "kick" Jenkins caught his cue, and 
1 fter he had failed to parry three or four resound- 
"''jhg blows that fell upon his face and neck, he 
fang forward quickly, feinting with his hands, 
,d while Tevis was lunging toward him, up came 
:f the toe of a rough boot that narrowly missed the 
. g young man's chin. 
ai "Foul!" cried a man in the little circle. 

The word was hardly uttered and Jenkins' foot 
was still in the air, when there was a swift doubling 
of the young man 's arm about the cowardly fight- 
er 's ankle, a heaving haul and the great brute lay 
prone upon the dock. 

"Get up, you thing!" cried Tevis. "If you try 
..,,,, that again, I'll mangle you!" 

"And serve him jolly well right," said a sailor, 
"that's what it would." 

The man scrambled up, his face, in its mad rage, 

*. horrible to see. He jumped at his antagonist like 

a tiger, belching blasphemy. Tevis saw that he 

was equal to any sort of murderous tactics, as was 

evinced by his foul thrusts and tackles. 

"Oh, well," he said at last, "if that's your style, 
you'll have to take it this way." 

As he said the words, he sprang upon Jenkins, 


caught his neck under his steel-like left arm and, 
holding him over so that the squirming, battling 
man could do little more than flail the air, he calm- 
ly proceeded to batter his face and the whole upper 
part of his body with his knotted right fist, while 
the fellow writhed and thrashed and Captain 
Thrale kept crying ' ' Dear me ! Dear me ! ' ' 

Under this fierce rain of blows it was not long 
before the hulking brute bawled for mercy, finally 
dropping upon the wharf, his head shielded under 
his arm and bellowing wildly: 

"Let me go let me go ! IVe had enough. I'm 
down an ' out, that 's what I am. Let me go ! ' ' 

"Very well," panted Tevis. "You can go, 
though I ought to hand you over to the police." 
The young man took out a handkerchief and wiped 
his perspiring face. "You tried to murder me, 
and you ought to go to jail for it; but what you 
just got is the kind of punishment IVe been want- 
ing to give you." He picked up his straw hat, 
which had fallen to the wharf and dusted it with 
his handkerchief. 

"And it's what he deserves all right," spoke up 
one of the little group of sailors that had quickly 
gathered about. ' 1 1 knew him in Boston, sir. He 's 
a Yankee cut-throat if ever there was one." 

"Well, I'd like to know!" piped a high-pitched 
female voice from the schooner's deck. 

Looking up, Tevis saw the sharp, determined- 
looking face of Mrs. Thrale. 

"I don't think, young man, you ought to 'a-made 


all this fuss right here at our gangway/' she com- 
plained. ' ' It ain 't Christian to fight that way. You 
ought to a-let the law take its course. ' ' 

"I'm sorry to have disturbed you, madam," said 
Tevis as he watched Jenkins crawl away among 
the lumber piles; "but I couldn't let him go with- 
out seeing him punished right here. I'm sailing 
on the schooner, you know, and the law is a little 
slow sometimes. I couldn't wait to prosecute 

"Well, maybe you're right," said Mrs. Thrale. 
"Coming aboard!" 

"Thank you. I haven't time now. I've wasted 
all I could spare on Mr. Jenkins. I must get back 
to the shop. I '11 be down this evening, if you like. ' ' 

"All right," said the Captain's wife. "We'll 
be expecting you. "Come to supper, can't you, 
and we '11 talk things over. ' ' 

"Yes," said the Captain, "we'll talk, things 

' l Very well. Good morning ! ' ' And, lifting his 
hat, Tevis strode off to catch a car he saw coming 
over the drawbridge a little way down the creek. 

"He's a mighty husky chap," said one of the 
sailors, glancing over to where the collapsed Jen- 
kins sat against a shingle-pile, wiping the blood 
from his face. In his hands he held a brick that 
he had evidently intended to heave at Tevis, but 
about which proceeding he had changed his mind. 

"That's what he is," said another seaman ad- 
miringly. "Did yeh see how he held the big lob- 


ster? He got him in shankery that time. Didn't 
give him a chance to git in one good punch, did 

"Here, you men, git to work there," command- 
ed Captain Thrale. ' ' Eoll in them barrels ! ' ' 

' ' Mercy sakes ! I should say so ! " cried his wife. 
"All this time lost over a disgraceful fight! But," 
she added, looking down the long lumber lane 
where Tevis strode swiftly toward his trolley car, 
"He's got a lot of grit that's what he has to 
tackle a big, rough sailor like that. He's the kind 
we're looking for. And I'm awful glad we didn't 
ship the other man if he 's such a low-down rascal 
as they say he is. Captain, them crates there 
ought to come aboard next. There 's no hurry about 
the barrels." 



IT was not until late in the afternoon, when the 
sun hung low over the brown hills of Sausalito, 
that Tevis stepped from the ferryboat, from the 
deck of which he had already noted the white hull 
of the Thetis lying in the mouth of Richardson's 
Bay. He hired a boat and rowed out to the yacht, 
passing up the gangway without challenge. The 
first officer, who was on deck, looked inquiringly 
at him. 

"Is Miss Braisted aboard?" asked the visitor. 

"Yes; in the saloon I think, sir. I'll show you 
the way. You look all right after your trouble of 
yesterday, " he observed. "Guess you weren't 
much hurt, after all?" 

"Not very much," was the reply. 

"That's the door," he said, pointing to an en- 
trance way. He went back and Tevis hesitatingly 
entered the saloon, his knock being answered by 
a neatly dressed maid. 

In a pretty pink-and-white afternoon gown, 
which made her look less the sailor than when he 
had seen her before, Hazel Braisted sat in an easy 
chair in the richly ornate room. Above and about 



her were innumerable carved figures of mermaids 
swimming around the mahogany wainscot, with 
corbels of more mermaids supporting a cornice, 
above which was a damask frieze. So much carv- 
ing made rather a heavy interior effect, and 
against the rich dark walls the trim, neat figure 
and finely rounded face of Hazel Braisted stood 
out like a picture of St. Cecilia. She laid aside 
her book as he entered. The maid who had flitted 
in at his entrance, flitted out again, and he was 
alone with the girl of the Thetis. 

"Oh, this is Mr. Tevis," she said, welcoming 
him with a pretty outstretched hand and a definite, 
informal smile. My father told me your name and 
I remembered it easily, as we have friends who 
are Tevises, in New York. 7 ' 

" Yes," said the young man, feeling somehow as 
if he had known her a long time, which was natur- 
al as she had been so much in his thoughts of late ; 
' ' and you are Miss Braisted. I have come to thank 
you for saving my life. You must have thought 
me an ingrate not to have done so before, but I 
knew nothing about it until I went ashore and met 
Mr. Braisted and the Captain." 

"I knew you didn't," she smiled graciously, and 
her brown eyes lighted up with a friendly look. 
"And I want you to pardon me for laughing at 
you; but in those old clothes you did look so 
so " 

"Kidiculous," he finished. 

"I didn't say* that," she said, smiling again. 


' * How have you been ! Were you much hurt 1 You 
certainly recovered quickly. We wanted to keep 
you until morning, but you ran away/' 

"Yes," he replied, "and you ran away, too." 

She raised her dark brows a little, and there 
was an inquiring look in her eyes. 

"I mean," he explained, "that when I went 
back to thank you last night the yacht was gone. ' ' 

"Oh, we didn't like to stay in that smelly old 
creek, among the melons and things, so we came 
over here, where it's so beautiful. See how the 
window frames that island, and the little one with 
the hole through it. What do you call them 1 ?" 

"Alcatraz Island and Arch Rock," said Tevis. 
"Do you like the sea!" 

"I love it," she said fervently. "I was never 
on such a long cruise as this. We have sailed 
thousands and thousands of miles. I have had such 
good company, too. My friend, Mrs. Poindexter 
she is a great reader and knows everything has 
been with me on the whole voyage. 

"This is a wonderful boat," he remarked, glanc- 
ing about at the mermaids. 

"Yes," she said, "it seems like home to me; 
everything is so convenient. ' ' 

She leaned over and touched a push button. The 
dark interior instantly flashed forth in the light of 
a score of soft little electric lamps. This led to a 
talk on the electric arrangements aboard the yacht. 
He explained his interest in the matter and it 
seemed to please her. 


"An electrical engineer?" she said. "How in- 
teresting ! ' ' She leaned her hand on her chin and 
looked intently at him. It was a becoming though 
unconventional pose. "I should like to be some- 
thing of that kind if I were a man something 
wonderfully advanced and scientific." 

He said nothing of his commonplace duties in 
the shop and of the dreary round of bell-hanging 
jobs. He was about to speak of the south-sea en- 
terprise, when he remembered the promise of se- 
crecy he had made to the Thrales. But there were 
other electrical topics. It seemed strange to him 
that the daughter of a great millionaire, doubtless 
full of social ambition, and with a baronet dang- 
ling about her he assumed that he was dangling 
should care for such subjects as long-distance 
power transmission and arc-lighting, but her eyes 
glowed when he told her of some of the big things 
that had been done in his line on the coast. She 
also seemed greatly interested in what he told her 
of university life in California. On the other hand 
he became intent upon her picture of Wellesley, 
which, from his far side of the world, was some- 
thing remote. But, of course, they came back to 
the yacht. 

"She's such a trim, steady boat," she remarked, 
' l and fast, too. We expect to make Honolulu from 
this port in seven days. ' ' 

"When shall you sail," he asked, trying to back- 
ground his interest in the matter by an indifferent 


' * To-morrow, at noon." 

"And you're not coming back?" His voice wa- 
vered a little here. 

Miss Braisted fingered some flowers on theJtable 
at her side as she said : 

"No; we're for Japan, China, India and home 
by Suez." 

He saved his sighs for a later hour, and looked 
out of the saloon window across the hazy bay to 
Alcatraz and Telegraph Hill. Of course this dream 
would end as it had begun in nothing. 

"I expect to make a voyage myself before long," 
he said thoughtfully after a while, "and to the 
islands, too. You spoke of Honolulu. Perhaps 
we shall meet there. But, no, I sail in a slow boat 
a schooner. And I am to return to California, 
while you are going around the world. ' ' There 
was obvious depression in his blue, eloquent eyes. 

"Well, it may be that I shall see you down at 
the islands." Then she added, reflectively, "But 
you say yours is a sailing vessel. There isn't so 
much likelihood of it then, as our visits will be 
very short at the ports we put into. Mrs. Poin- 
dexter says we're just playing tag with the 
places. ' ' 

"I had hoped," was his venturesome remark, 
"that you might be making your home here on 
the coast. Then I might have a chance some day 
to repay you for saving my life." 

"By saving me in turn?" she said with twink- 
ling eyes. ' ' That would hardly be a fair exchange. 


I am so useless, while you men of electricity are 
helping the world so much. Then you mightn't 
have so easy a time of it as I had. You might be 
pulled along and trampled by a runaway horse, or 
something. ' ' 

To his serious nature it seemed strange that this 
angelic woman coujd make light of such matters. 
It came to him that he had not fully impressed her 
with his sense of gratitude. He was trying to 
think what he might add to his first insufficient 
words, while she rippled on about the yacht and 
the cruise. But before he could say anything more 
a door opened as doors open on a stage, and 
enter the baronet ! He was dressed in smart Lon- 
don clothes of a pronouncedly checked pattern and 
with his trim brown beard, broad face and cold 
gray eyes, he looked the part. He was followed 
by Mr. Braisted, who had politely waved him in 
ahead, a deference to which the Englishman 
seemed quite accustomed. Of course there were 
greetings, after their kind a pleasant one from 
Miss Braisted 's father, and an indefinably disap- 
proving one from Miss Braisted 's lordly admirer, 
now formally introduced to Tevis as Sir Charles 

"Ah," said the Englishman, putting up his 
monocle and looking Tevis over as if he had been 
a horse or a hunting dog, ' ' the boatman the man 
who had the little mill with Jenkins and whom you 
fished out of the creek yesterday. Most extraor- 


dinary performance! As I have said before, you 
American girls are equal to anything. ' ' 

' l She was equal to that occasion all right, ' ' said 
her father proudly. 

Tevis wondered if there were an understanding 
between the young woman and the baronet. He 
was tremendously concerned lest it should be a 
typical case of British fortune-hunting to which 
5 the girP/s father had given willing ear. Still, even 
v as he looked at it from his inexperienced point of 
view, a baronet could be no great catch from a 
millionaire's standpoint, if, indeed, it were the 
fact that Braisted was eager for a title for his 
daughter. To be sure the woman who married Sir 
Charles would be Lady Walden, and that, to many 
American ears, would sound large. 

Tevis glanced at the girl while she poured the 
tea which had just been brought in by a remarka- 
bly clean looking, white-clothed Japanese boy. She 
fascinated him. He could hardly keep his eyes off 
the fine, classic profile detached against the dark 
wainscot. He said little until Walden, lifting his 
tea-cup, which looked absurdly small in his large 
red hand, aimed some fierce shafts at American 
institutions, declaring among other things that the 
freedom of which Americans were always boasting 
was not equal to the freedom of British-born peo- 
ple and that as for government the country really 
didn't have any. So, before he was aware of 'it, 
Tevis was drawn into one of those interminable, 
and profitless arguments with the Briton as to the 


respective merits of their two countries. But Miss 
Braisted, with the neat tact of the acute American 
girl, presently led the conversation out of the dan- 
gerous rapids. 

Tevis did not stay long after that, but long 
enough to see the face of the money king relapse 
once or twice from its social pleasantry into the 
wan look of misgiving he had noted the night be- 
fore. That he was a man with * ' something on his 
mind" seemed clear to him; but that his daughter 
knew what that something was and shared the 
dread of it with him, was unlikely, for she was 
blithe enough. 

Just as he was preparing to leave the yacht, 
Mrs. Poindexter, who had been making a visit 
ashore, came down the companion. When Tevis 
was presented to the stout, cheery, cultured-look- 
ing little woman whom he was at once willing to 
concede to be* "good company, " as the girl had 
called her, he saw by a certain brightness in her 
lively eyes and a certain smile on her face that she 
knew who he was and that he had been sufficiently 
discussed aboard the yacht. They exchanged a few 
polite sentences, while Walden and Braisted, 
standing a little apart, talked of the sights they 
had seen ashore. 

"Well," said Tevis, as he rose to go, "I fear I 
have extended this call unconscionably. Good- 
bye, Miss Braisted!" 

"Good-bye," she said as he took her hand as a 


devotee might have taken a sacred relic; "I hope 
we'll meet down at the islands/' 

' i There 's hardly a chance of that, ' ' he said, mak- 
ing a dismal failure of his attempt to return the 
smile "not while I sail in a slow schooner and 
you go in a fast boat like this. But in any event, " 
he added in a low tone that the others did not hear, 
1 1 so long as I live, I shall remember you and how 
you saved my life. ' ' 

"Good-bye, Mr. Tevis," said Braisted, coming 
over and giving his hand a hearty grip. "Very 
glad to have met you. ' ' 

Walden merely bowed. He was satisfied to be 
rid of a visitor, who, though but a craftsman, had 
had the assurance to engage him in argument. 

Mrs. Poindexter, unlike the baronet, not only 
saw Tevis' extended hand, but gave it a friendly 
clasp, and made one of her bright little speeches. 

Tevis gazed once more into the dark eyes of the 
winsome girl. It was such a wistful, yearning, 
and yet baffled look, that she did not fail to catch 
its meaning. Her eyes fell and her smile faded. 
He saw the change in her face, but instantly re- 
flected that it was but a touch of her finely respon- 
sive spirit. He could mean nothing to her, after 
all. It had been but as a meeting of two in a crowd, 
the glimpsing of a face, a meeting of eyes and a 
swift but infinite divergence. 

He said "good-bye" to her again, moved quickly 
up the companion to the deck, and rowed away in 


the dusk with a quick, hard, vindictive stroke that 
was a protest against inflexible destiny. 

Looking back at the yacht after rowing a little 
while, he saw through the gathering twilight a 
girlish figure on the after-deck and his heart told 
him it was Hazel. Perhaps she had taken enough 
interest in him to watch him row ashore, though 
this hardly seemed likely. But was it a trick 
of his fond fancy or was that fluttering white 
something in her hand a handkerchief, and was 
she waving him farewell? Well, he would wave 
in return on the rare chance that it might be. He 
wigwagged his handkerchief toward her, but was 
not sure that she replied to his farewell signal. So 
he pulled slowly ashore in a strange flux of moods, 
landed at the little wharf and went aboard the 
waiting ferryboat. As he stood on the upper deck 
and saw the Thetis blur out in the darkness and 
distance, it seemed that something was catching at 
his heart and dragging it down into the depths of 
the bay. For she would sail away on the morrow. 

Just as he was leaving the ferry on the Oakland 
side he caught a glimpse of Captain Durable in 
the crowd. Was he going to keep his appointment 
with Captain Thralef This was "to-morrow 
night," and the hour and place were doubtless 
near. This trim yacht captain, as smart in his 
blue uniform and cap as any Sousa what business 
or social relations could be have with the fusty 
little master of the Tropic Bird? 



THE tide-rip battled above the bar outside the 
Golden Gate, where the Tropic Bird, heeling under 
the gusty trades, bravely fought her way out to 
sea. Before night the headlands would sink into 
the blue Pacific and the Coast Range would be lost 
to her. Tevis, standing on the* after-deck, his legs 
well braced against the unaccustomed heave and 
roll of the ship, was thinking of Hazel Braisted 
and the Thetis. Her sailing over this same stretch 
of sea only a few days before had left a wake of 
romance across these waters. She must now be 
breathing the- softer air of the South, for she 
should be half-way to Honolulu. Would he meet 
her down there? It was unlikely, for the yacht 
must be gaining eight knots an hour upon the 
schooner, and would leave port long before she 
reached it, even if the old craft put in there, which 
was uncertain, for the Thrales had revealed noth- 
ing to him as to their sailing route. 

Sadly he reflected that there was now only this 
in common between him and Hazel Braisted they 
were sailing the same ocean. There was not much 
in that thought, but there was something. At 
least he was not left ashore while she sailed away. 



Down by the Farallones the trades took the 
schooner in their teeth. The cordage began to 
hum, the dingy sails of the old Tropic Bird puffed 
out and her nose dipped under a souse of spray. 
There was aboard the little vessel all the sup- 
pressed excitement of the long voyager's first 
plunge into the open ocean. But soon she sailed 
into a racing drift of fog that blotted out every- 
thing but the near water and dampened the elation 
of the start. A mournful siren wailed from the 
Farallones, and continued its unhappy call to them 
until they were well out to sea, pitching on a vast 
world of unquiet water amid cold sweeps of misty 

"A pretty decent start," Tevis heard Mrs. 
Thrale say to the Captain as they stood in the lee 
of the forward house. ' l The tide serves well, but 
goodness me ! I hate a gray blanket like this." 

How perfectly she looked the part of the woman 
of the sea Tevis now had a chance to note. In a 
long, heavy brown ulster that came down to her 
feet, and with a little blue cap pulled well over her 
head, she faced the raw, pelting fog' with a rigid, 
resolute air, her deep-wrinkled, half-shut eyes 
piercing the murk ahead, and the prick of the wind, 
bringing the color to her hard cheeks, as to a girl's. 

He heard her ask sharply why the fog bell was 
not being sounded, and a flaw of wind blew the 
Captain's mild reply to his ears: 

4 'It ain't thick enough yet." 


"Yes; it is, too, and there's more of it coining. 
May be dirt in this, for all we know. ' ' 

So the bell began to ring and kept up its dismal 
note far into the night. 

Tevis had been looking over the schooner and 
the crew, and getting acquainted with his assist- 1 ; 
ant, a likely lad, named Jim Reynolds, engaged at 
the last moment of the hurried start on the voyage. 
Of the Tropic Bird there was not much to be said. 
She was small, with cramped, but wonderfully 
clean, cabins, the walls of which were covered with 
the peeling paint of many years. In fact every- 
thing about her suggested age, even to the rigging 
and the patches on the old weather-darkened sails. 
But her cleanliness was marvellous and was due to 
Mrs. Thrale's careful marine housewifery. Every 
bit of brasswork or glass aboard ship was polished 
and cleaned until it shone. 

The crew had been a surprise to Tevis. A little 
craft like the Tropic Bird might easily have been 
handled by four or five men, but she must have 
had a score, not counting eight taken along espe- 
cially for the diving and wrecking work. Whenever 
an order was given, there would be more men tumb- 
ling up from the forecastle or along deck than were 
needed on a square-rigger. And as for boats there 
were half-a-dozen, including a twenty-four foot 
gasoline launch. 

At supper he sat at the Captain's table, where 
Mrs. Thrale poured the tea as if she were sitting 
at her New England board. In fact, the whole 


scheme of affairs in the cabin suggested the rigid 
dirt-defying housekeeping of New England, in 
which her presence was dominant and pervasive. 
Captain Thrale said grace, and she bowed her 
head very low and reverently and responded with 
a clear "Amen." 

After dinner and while talking with Thrale in 
the after cabin, which was a sort of sanctuary to 
cleanliness and spruce arrangement, Tevis kept 
studying Mrs. Thrale, who sat in a rocking-chair, 
with a clean "tidy" at her back, stroking a white 
cat that lay in her lap. At her feet was a braided 
rug. She said nothing to them during the talk, but 
he could see by the uncomfortable way in which 
the Captain glanced at her that what he said was 
always with reference to her approval. Tevis could 
not help pitying the meek little man. He wondered 
why he could not have left his wife ashore. 

Going on deck, Tevis went aft and stood near 
the wheelman where he could see the whirling 
patent log marking off the miles. About ten 
o'clock the fog lifted and a friendly little troop of 
stars shone out in the dark sky overhead. So he 
turned in, with a feeling of cheer, but lay awake 
a long time, thinking of that other ship in the 
wake of which he was sailing, and how her pro- 
peller was pushing the miles aside to so much bet- 
ter purpose than the dingy wings of the ancient 
Tropic Bird. But his heart was fleet and it chased 
and caught the Thetis and boarded her in the night. 

In the morning, finding nothing else to do and 


not caring to read, lie told the Captain lie would 
like to take a look at the electrical outfit and see if 
everything were in good order. Thrale was on 
deck talking with the mate. A dozen of the super- 
fluous sailors were smoking their pipes forward, 
and the mate was pointing to them, or was it to 
something out at sea that long stratum of dun 
smoke on the southern horizon? 

"Why," said the Captain, looking up rather 
queerly, as Tevis thought, "you don't have to do 

anything with There's no use you can't get 

at the stuff anyway. It's all down in the hold and 
safe enough." 

"Very well," replied the young man, "but I 
thought I should like to look it over and see how 
the boxes and crates had been stowed. You know 
those globes are breakable. I should have seen 
them put away myself; but had to go hunting 
around at the last minute to hire my assistant." 

"Oh, they're stowed away all right," said the 
Captain. "I saw to it myself." 

The mate was looking through his glass at ihe 

"It's her, all right," he said at last. "It's her 
stack and masts." 

Tevis wondered what the vessel might be. Of 
course it was not the Thetis. She should be over a 
thousand miles away by this time. He sauntered 
aimlessly about the deck, and from time to time 
there came to him the queer look which Captain 
Thrale 's face had worn when he had spoken of the 


electric outfit. Being with the boatswain a little 
later, he ventured to question him. 

' < Electric fixtures ? ' ' he laughed. l ' We ain 't got 
no electric fixtures. This ain't no liner. " 

He explained that they were part of the cargo 
they were along with the diving apparatus. 

" Cargo ?" laughed the man again. "Well, if 
you call eighty tons of Oakland rock, cargo, all 
right. That's all the cargo we got, except them 
steamer-hands there forward. ' ' He laughed again, 
this time contemptuously. Then of a sudden he 
bethought himself. "Who are you? I mean what 
is your berth to be? Quartermaster?" 

"No," replied Tevis simply. "I'm the elec- 
trician. What do you mean by steamer hands ? ' ' 

The man's face took on a rigidity equal to that 
of Mrs. Thrale 's. 

' ' Oh, you're the elctrician ! Why didn't you say 
so?" he exclaimed. "Of course, I ain't had no 
time to git acquainted, so I didn't know. But 
it's all right. You'll find the things all there when 
you want 'em. ' ' He walked aft, leaving the young 
man to puzzle over his strange contradictions. 

Tevis went over and hovered around the Captain 
and the mate, they had been joined by Mrs. Thrale, 
who came aft with her white cat in her arms. They 
stood near the rail, looking off at the smudge of 
smoke in the south, which seemed to be floating a 
little nearer. 

"That's her all right," said Mrs. Thrale, with 
a note of excitement in her voice. "Must be, for 


there's Point Sur to eastward. I was afraid we 
wouldn't pick her up before afternoon, but the 
wind has held good." Turning, she saw the elec- 
trician and said: "Fine day, Mr. Tevis," and 
began to talk about the gulls that were following 
the ship, leading him aft to see them. 

"What vessel is that out there a coast steam- 
er !" he asked. 

She looked toward the gulls as she replied: "I 
guess so. Ain't it strange how they carry their 
legs? See that one with his foot hanging down- 
must have been wounded or something. Poor old 
Port!" she said to the cat. "Does he want to get 
down." The cat sprang to the deck, arched his 
back and rubbed against Tevis ' trouser leg. 

They talked for a while about the birds, while 
he thought of the steamer. Then Mrs. Thrale went 
below. He walked over to the wheel, and by the 
binnacle box he saw a pair of marine glasses which 
he picked up furtively, clapped to his eyes, and 
pointed toward the distant vessel. He screwed the 
glasses down a bit to get the focus, and suddenly 
in the little circle, there danced before his eyes the 
familiar lines of the Thetis! Yes; there, he saw 
again, though with faint definition, the beautiful 
floating home of Hazel Braisted far in the offing, 
to be sure, but yet within his vision. What had 
happened to delay her ? Had her sailing date been 
postponed or had she been to visit some up-coast 
port and was now on her way south? These ques- 
tions bothered Tevis. 


All day long they kept the yacht in view, some- 
times away out on the hoop of the horizon, then 
again so near that they could see the moving dots 
of people aboard. Tevis watched her closely. Once 
a wee white object iked itself in his mind as Hazel, 
and his breath quickened with delight. It was not 
often that he could obtain the use of the glass, or 
he might have made her out beyond peradventure, 
though this his heart did, not once, but many times. 
How slowly the yacht must be moving to admit the 
schooner to come so near. Was she disabled ? On 
one or two long tacks they almost lost her, but at 
night, with a fair wind, they kept her lights in 
sight, and from his little round peephole of a win- 
dow they swung up to him out of the sea over and 
over again, while he lay in his berth, and gazed 
across the dark water. 

In the morning the yacht's white hull glittered 
in the bright sunlight not two miles away, as she 
steamed slowly south. It seemed likely to Tevis 
that something had happened to her machinery, 
and yet at times she made fair speed, being at 
noon merely another smoke-bank to them. 

Thinking of the excitement of Mrs. Thrale and 
the officers when the Thetis "had first been picked 
up, he could come to no other conclusion than that 
there was a relation of some sort between the two 
vessels, particularly as the sailing date of the 
yacht must have been changed to that of fhe 
schooner ; and the thought was a welcome one. But 
clearly that relation, whatever it might be, was to 


be kept in the dark, for not only had Mrs. Thrale 
and the Captain discouraged his question, but now 
they seemed to pay little attention to the distant 
steamer. Here was a puzzle, or possibly no puzzle 
at all; for what could the cheap little old hulk in 
which they sailed have to do with the splendid 
Thetis? What could her master have to do with 
Thrale T 

It occurred to him that he had within the fort- 
night asked himself that last question before, an3 
then the remembrance of the Durable telephone 
incident flashed out of his cerebral background. 
Clearly there was some relation between the two 
oddly assorted craft. What could it be! What 
was the meaning of this strange chase of the Thetis 
and of her deliberate cruising? If it should ulti- 
mate in their overhauling or joining the yacht in 
some port yet to be sighted it would, indeed, be a 
happy circumstance, for then he should see Hazel 
again. But in the meantime all he could do would 
be to await events. 

Tevis soon saw that the crew all hated Mrs. 
Thrale and that they held Thrale in contempt for 
letting her order the men about, as she did at 

Although she had not as yet practiced her sharp 
tongue upon him, Tevis had quickly learned to keep 
clear of her. Often he would have liked to ply her 
with questions regarding the strange stern chase 
of the Thetis, but he could not brave the bar sinis- 
ter and those quickly bristling elbows. 


Her most forceful fulmination was when the 
cabin boy tied a piece of paper to her cat's feet and 
was contorting with laughter as he watched the 
animal cavort awkwardly over the deck while the 
men looked on, highly entertained, roaring with 
merriment. On approaching and seeing the spec- 
tacle, Mrs. Thrale clawed wildly through the circle 
of men and, grasping the offending lad by the arm, 
she hurled him against the forward house, gasping 
with rage. 

"Tom Brannagan!" she screeched, her face at 
white heat, and her black eyes snapping. "You 
little imp! To persecute a poor cat that way! 
Mercy me ! Well, I 'd like to know ! And you men ! 
You ought to be keelhauled, every one of you!" 
She picked up the struggling cat and tore the 
strings and papers from its feet. ' ' Poor old Port ! 
He's worth a hundred times as much as any man 
of you! Oh, I know a lot of city-front, saloon 
loafers when I see 'em. You can't fool me. I'd 
like to know ! ' ' 

And she strode off with her cat under her arm, 
her black skirts switching wildly. 

The men looked at each other. 

"You don't all feel cheap as sand ballast, do 
you!" snickered the boatswain coming up and wit- 
nessing their degradation. "Had to take it right 
out o' the medicine chest, didn't you?" 

"Oh, Ay gif a tarn for her ! ' ' said a burly Swede. 
"I don'd bin shippin' mit no vooman captains no 
more no how." 


But Mrs. Thrale had her gentle moments. She 
was a creature of quick sympathy. Once when a 
sailor had been standing for hours out on the bow- 
sprit splicing a footrope and had returned to the 
forecastle drenched and chilled, she- went forward 
with a bottle and glass in her hand. 

"Here's some elderberry wine/ 7 she said pour- 
ing out a glassful. "Drink it it's powerful warm- 
ing. And if you sailors never drank anything 
stronger you might have a dollar or two left by 
the end of the year. ' ' 

And it did prove warming, not only to the blood, 
but to the heart of the man who held Mrs. Thrale 
in high respect thereafter and would hear no cyni- 
cal word concerning her. 

Day after day, over the brightly flashing brine, 
upon which the summer sun played resplendently ; 
day after day, while the schooner ploughed down 
the long gleaming swells and up again to their 
liquid heights, they kept the yacht in sight, and in 
the night saw her twinkling lights play over the 
sea, flashing on the wave-tips and running along 
the water in whimsical vagrancy. What deepened 
Tevis' now well-fixed impression of some sort of 
understanding between the masters of the two ves- 
sels was the fact that, once or twice at night, when 
the Thetis 9 Captain must have feared she was los- 
ing the schooner, her searchlight gleamed sudden- 
ly out of the dark. Once when it lighted up the 
somber old sails with *s?M refulgence, Tevis 


caught sight of the lone figure of Mrs. Thrale de- 
tached against the house. She was standing astern 
her glass to her eyes, staring seaward, through the 
night, and as he looked at her he could not dismiss 
from his mind the idea that she was a sinister sea 
hawk, peering at her prey. 

He wanted to go to her and plump out a question 
as to the meaning of this odd chase. Were they 
to follow the yacht all the way to the islands ? And 
had she anything to do with their own mission of 
salvage 1 He thought many times about the wreck- 
ing apparatus and the electrical outfit and what 
the boatswain had let out in his unguarded mo- 
ment. He speculated, too, upon his futile attempts 
to elicit something from the crew about the wreck- 
ing things they were supposed to have shipped, but 
evidently had not shipped. Never had he talked 
with such a lot of lunkheads. They knew nothing 
about the stuff stowed in the hold. It might have 
been full of tan bark or waste paper for all they 
knew or would tell. But as he now approached 
Mrs. Thrale in the darkness, she turned upon him 
sharply and said that the first mate was looking 
for him for a game of euchre. 

"Not that I approve of cards," she added, with 
one of her Puritan touches. " They're a device of 
the devil. But if you don't play on Sundays or for 

money " and she turned again abruptly, 

walked over to the binnacle and looked at the com- 
pass with a fixed stare. He went below to seek the 
mate, a very decent chap named Flamel, with 


whom lie had become acquainted before they left 
port. Flamel was a florid-faced, blond-mustached, 
well set up man of thirty, who talked as though he 
had found this globe a very pleasant planet. He 
was sitting under a lamp at the side of the ta'ble 
when Tevis entered the cabin. 

" Aren't we heading nearer south than the regu- 
lar course for the islands?" he asked the mate. 
"I thought I saw some shore 'lights just now," 
which was the truth, for the lights 'had glowed 
dully in the west and the schooner was assuredly 
not far from the Californian coast. 

"Must have been some ship," said Flamel. 

"No," he returned positively, to see what the 
man would say, "the lights of the Thetis were due 
south. She was playing her searchlight on us." 

"You must be pretty smart to 'know the names 
of all the steamers we run in sight of," he said 
laughingly and evasively, while he fingered the 
cards. t i Shall I leave in the joker ? ' ' 

"Speaking of the Thetis," began Tevis as he 
cut the cards. 

"I wasn't speaking of the Thetis." He dealt 
out the hands swiftly. "Diamonds are trumps." 

"I was going to say she left port just a little 
ahead of us, and " 

"Yes, the Thetis is a dandy boat. Clyde-built, 
all steel except her trimmings. I saw her in the 
bay. She can go over twenty knots they say. Ah- 
ha! The first trick is mine." 


Tevis could not get Flamel to talk about the 
yacht any further. He did not put his mind to the 
game, lost carelessly and turned in early. 

Next morning he rose betimes. There was the 
The tis within a mile, standing clean white above 
the dark blue of the sea. But little smoke was 
coming from her funnel; she was moving slower 
than ever. Over to the west the brown hills of the 
coast stood out plainly. He asked one of the idling 
hands what port the vessel was near. 

1 1 Looks like San Diego," said the man unhesi- 
tatingly. "Yes, there's Coronado over there." 

A little- later he chanced in at the Captain's 
cabin. Thrale was not there, but, spread out upon 
his table, was a chart on which the course was 
marked. The red line ended at the mouth of San 
Diego Bay. What about the islands? Perhaps 
that course would be laid later. But the* Thetis? 
She was evidently not for* the islands either? It 
was baffling. He was impatient to know themean- 
ing of it all. 

They made no headway that morning nor did the 
steamer. She idled up and down or lay-to off the 
harbor mouth. In the afternoon she steamed into 
port, while the Tropic Bird hovered a little farther 
off shore. Indeed, Tevis feared at one time that 
she was putting out to sea on her long voyage to 
the islands and that he had seen the last of the 
yacht. He had devoutly hoped they might be going 
into port, too, for then he might see Hazel again. 


But after a long tack to the west, the schooner 
veered north and then stood over toward the shore. 

The sun blazed redly down into the western sea. 
It was a glorious evening with a light wind and a 
long glassy swell. The schooner's sails slatted idly 
as she lazed along. There was an. air of expect- 
ancy aboard, eager, but quiet. Mrs. Thrale was 
on deck, with the Captain, and the two studied the 
landward sweep of sea as a hunter studies a hill 
for deer. 

It came on toward dusk. There were the lights 
and the smoke of a steamer coming out of the har- 
bor in the growing breeze. She sailed directly 
toward the Tropic Bird, the sea getting rougher as 
she neared and the wind coming squally and un- 
certain. Tevis saw Mrs. Thrale give an impatient 
signal to her husband. 

"Keady about !" he called. 

The schooner's head was laid due west. The 
mainsail was close-reefed, and the foresail 
shortened a bit. Looking astern, Tevis saw the 
Thetis steaming toward them in the gathering 
darkness. She was now well out of the harbor and 
not more than half a mile away. The sky was 
somewhat overcast, so that the stars shone out only 
now and again and there were shoreward streaks 
of mist through which the street lights of San 
Diego shot forth as they were turned on for the 

He was looking fondly toward the oncoming 
Thetis, when, of a sudden, he saw a great cloud of 


smoke puffing out from amidships, a little forward 
of her funnel. At the same time he saw a bustle 
aboard the yacht ; there was a running to and fro 
and the quickly clanging strokes of a bell. 



THE Thetis was afire! Of all this smoke and 
confusion there could be no other meaning. And 
Hazel she was in peril ! The thought sent Tevis 
excitedly up and down the deck. Of a sudden she 
had become more dear and necessary to him than 
ever. What could he do to help her. 

There was not much commotion aboard the 
Tropic Bird. She was ordered about again and 
lay-to in the freshening wind. Two of her boats 
were lowered the gig and the dingey and were 
bobbing astern, but not manned. It was evident 
that the Captain was not greatly concerned about 
the lives of those aboard the yacht. But as for 
Tevis he was fairly beside himself. A fever of 
anxiety consumed him as he looked toward the 
great cloud of smoke that now enveloped the 
Thetis and then stared agrily at the silent Thrale, 
who stood upon the after-deck, with his wife, in 
irritating deliberation. Once the wildly impatient 
young man came near and caught the look in Mrs. 
Thrale ? s eyes. If the glare of the sea hawk had 
blazed from them before, it burned with treble 
intensity now. Of pity, of concern for the threat- 



ened lives aboard the burning boat, there was not 
a gleam; but of avid fierceness, there was a great, 
rampant force. A little of this force seemed to 
impart itself to the Captain, but only a little. 

6 ' Well, they'll be moving out of their floating 
palace now, I guess, ' ' remarked the woman with a 
sneer. "Yes; there goes the boats pretty well 
loaded, too pulling ashore. He must have ordered 
'em all off. Going to make quite a fire," she re- 
marked, hardly turning her eyes. "Looks like it 
was down in the hold. May be it's their trunks 
burning now. Suppose they carry forty of 'em 
on a cruise like that. It 's a great thing to be rich. ' ' 

"Captain," cried Tevis, with devouring impa- 
tience, "aren't you going to do something for the 
poor souls aboard that yacht! Aren't you going 
to send - " 

're standing by to see what we can do for 
'em, ' ' explained the Captain, rather hazily. " I Ve 
got a couple of boats lowered. Maybe I'll be going 
over before long." 

"Will you let me take one of the boats," he 
urged excitedly. i 1 1 want to do something myself 
if lean." 

"Let the boats alone," snorted Mrs. Thrale. 
"We'll take care of the boats." 

"But you might - " 

"Oh, save your breath for the doldrums," she 
rasped forth. "Look there, Captain! She's blaz- 
ing up, ain't she?" 

A red glare rose amid the smoke. The eager 


young man waited no longer. Running astern he 
pulled in the painter of the dingey, dropped lightly 
into the boat, and rowed away like mad. 

"Hey there! Stop! Bring her back!" yelled 
the voice of the mate, who had returned to his 
post. But Tevis paid no heed and was soon a good 
distance off in the fog. He could see only a little 
way ahead, over the waves, but before long he 
heard cries from the yacht or from her boats, and 
he was guided by these sounds. He could no 
longer see any gleam from the fire, which seemed 
strange. The twilight was settling down heavily 
with the thick mist. The voices came less distinct- 
ly and then were lost altogether. He hardly knew 
where he was going, but of a sudden he heard the 
schooner's bell clang out, and as it rang quickly, 
again and again, he kept the sounds well astern 
and pulled forward. 

Evidently he had missed his reckoning, for he 
did not seem to be nearing the Thetis. Where was 
the red glare of her fire ? Had it died down or had 
the fog and the smoke obscured it? He rowed 
fiercely about for a half-hour in search of the 
yacht, and was almost despairing, when out of the 
fog he heard voices. He pulled hard in the direc- 
tion from which the sounds came. As they were 
wafted a little nearer by the wind he detected 
something familiar in them. He yelled again and 
again and a big voice boomed back in reply. A 
few more strokes and, over the bow, he saw a 
small boat with a man standing up in her and 


others sitting with motionless oars, as if listening 
to his call. 

"I say, my man!" roared the voice. " Which 
way ashore?" 

It was Sir Charles Walden. And, sitting all 
huddled up in the stern, was Miss Hazel Braisted, 
with a white face under her little cap. There were 
four or five men in the boat beside the baronet, but 
Tevis did not distinguish Hazel's father among 
them. Of course, she did not recognize him, and 
he doubted if she knew his voice when he shouted : 

"I don't know the way ashore, but I'll take you 
to the schooner. That's her bell you hear over 

1 'Well, anywhere out of this cursed fog!" 
bawled Walden. "Lead the way, my man. We 
want to get out of this as soon as God will let us." 

Turning his boat about, Tevis headed toward the 
schooner. Her bell now sounded rather faintly. 
Suddenly on both sides of him he heard more 
voices, and then the low deep note of a whistle 
droned out of the mist from not far away. Was 
the signal from the Thetis? She had blown no dis- 
tress whistles before. How was it that she was be- 
ginning to sound them now? Besides the fire must 
have gained upon her by this time and all hands 
must have left her. But no flame lit the bank out 
of which the whistle issued. It was all very strange, 
as of a tragedy going on behind a lowered curtain. 
Now he was nearing the bell, for the fog-muffled 
note rose a little clearer. 


"We'll soon be there!" he called back encour- 
agingly to Walden's boat. "We'll soon reach the 
schooner. ' ' 

Then he listened for the next brassy note. It 
did not come. He pulled away, paused and strained 
his eyes forward through the mist. Nothing but 
the wash of the waves about his boat, then the 
long-drawn wheeze of the whistle. 

"Where's your schooner!" called Sir Charles, 
as both boats slackened, losing headway. 

" I 'm looking for her, ' ' answered Tevis. 1 1 She 's 
over there somewhere." 

' ' Hello, there ! ' ' cried a new voice out of the fog, 
coming from the left. 

"Hello!" replied Tevis. "Is that the Tropic 

"No one of her boats going off to the yacht. 
Are you from the schooner f ' ' 


"Better pull along to the yacht then; all hands 
goin' aboard. That's her whistle." 

The boat showed shade-wily through the murk. 

"But the yacht's afire," he yelled back. "We 
want to go to the schooner. ' 9 

"Fire's all out!" came the reply out of the fog. 
"Follow us if you're going aboard." The boat 
loomed a little nearer. She was piled dangerously 
high with luggage and there were at least eight 
men in her. 

"The fire is out! Oh, good! good!' The fire is 


out ! ' It was Hazel 's glad voice ringing from the 
baronet 's boat. ' ' Is she much damaged ? ' ' 

For a moment there was a strange silence. Then 
the answering voice blew out of the fog. 

"No not to speak of. Didn't amount to much." 

The girl called out other eager inquiries, but 
there was no reply. It may have been because 
the gusts whisked her cries away ; but Tevis heard 
them plainly. 

His boat ran up a long dark wave, with the 
baronet's just astern. As they topped the watery 
hill, a great flame leaped from the sea not far 
away. It was volcano-like in its suddenness and 
it shot through the mist, turning it to a shimmer 
of red and gold. 

"There's the fire again!" he heard Hazel's des- 
pairing cry. ' * The yacht is gone ! ' ' 

Then the whistle moaned dolefully, dead ahead. 

* ' Come on ! " shouted the men in the schooner 's 
boat. "Follow along." 

Bewildered and well-nigh dazed, Tevis rowed in 
their wake and Sir Charles' boat followed him. 
The wind scurried down more briskly and the sea 
kept rising. 

Presently dull lights glowed uncertainly ahead, 
and out of the fog stretched the low, white length 
of a steamer, her hull, masts and funnel showing 
ghostlike in the mist-softened glare, which arose 
from the other vessel. 

"Why, there's the Thetis now!" cried Hazel, 
standing up in the boat and waving her hand to- 


ward the steamer. "And she's safe and sound. 
But what's that other fire?" 

Yes; here surely was the yacht, apparently as 
trim and whole as ever. And the other blaze that 
had flared out of this bedeviled sea it could come 
from nothing else than the schooner ! The flames 
shot higher and illumined the night and illumined, 
too, some of the blankness of Tevis' mental vision. 
He saw boats coming from the blazing Tropic 
Bird, full of men and luggage, and other boats, 
also loaded high, were being hoisted at the Thetis 9 
side. And it flashed upon him that a part, at least, 
of the plot was about to be unfolded. He was soon 
to understand the mysterious relation between 
Captain Dumble and the Thrales soon to know 
the meaning of the strange chase down the coast, 
of the lying-to outside the harbor, of the fire which 
did not consume the Thetis and of that other and 
greater conflagration which was now licking up the 
timbers, spars and sails of the poor old Tropic 



SIR CHARLES' boat was hoisted first and Tevis 
had to await his turn below the davits in the gath- 
ering storm, so that his craft was badly knocked 
about, and once came near side-wiping the yacht. 
When he reached the deck he did not see Hazel or 

Looking about the dimly lighted yacht the elec- 
trics were not burning it was clear to Tevis that 
little damage, if any, had resulted from the fire. 
Above decks there was certainly none. It seemed 
likely that the flames had been confined to the hold. 
Aboard the boat were all of the schooner's old 
i?rew, with Flamel, the mate, and others whom 
Tevis knew. He stepped up to Flamel who was 
standing forward, giving orders to the boatswain. 

"Who is in command?" he asked. 

* ' The old man, ' ' was the reply. 

"Captain Thrale? Where is he?" 

"Up there on the bridge." 

"Where's Captain Dumble?" 

"Gone ashore with the owner and the yacht's 
crew. They got out in a hell of a hurry. It looked 
for a time as though the ship was gone." 



"Who put out the fire!" 

" We did. It wasn't much of a blaze. I wonder 
they didn't get it out themselves." 

"Captain Bumble was here, wasn't he?" asked 
Tevis rather sharply, for he was filling out the 
plot in his mind as he went along, and with Dumble 
off the yacht when Thrale came aboard, it did not 
work out. 

"No, Captain Dumble wasn't here, nor any of 
his crew," Flamel said simply. 

"How did the schooner get afire!" pursued 

"I don't know. I wasn't aboard." Again the 
averted gaze. 

While they were talking, the yacht's screw gave 
a tentative grind and a quiver ran over her. Tevis 
went to the rail. The Tropic Bird was already 
burning down close to the water. In half an hour 
the waves, which were now running high, would be 
closing over her. 

The Captain where was he? Tevis looked eag- 
erly about. The yacht was gathering speed and 
her nose, dipped in the choppy waves, was driving 
seaward. He hastened forward and clambered to 
the bridge. Through the window of the wheel- 
house he saw Captain Thrale, laying off the course, 
while Mrs. Thrale leaned over the chart table on 
which stood old Port, the white cat. He opened 
the door and the wind blew him in. 

"Why, it's Mr. Tevis!" exclaimed Mrs. Thrale. 

< < Yes Tevis, ' ' echoed the Captain. < < Well, how 


do you like the new ship 1 " he said, trying to carry 
off a light air, though his loose under lip was work- 
ing nervously. 

"Captain Thrale," began the young man in his 
hardest tone, "I understand that you are in corn- 
man of the yacht." 

"Yes, sir." 

"How did you get command of her?" 

"Yes ; you see she was afire, deserted a derelict 
and I came aboard, with some of my men and 
put out the fire and took charge of her. ' ' 

"And then burned your own boat," flung out 
Tevis in a flash of inspired conjecture, "so that 
those ashore would think it was the Thetis and you 
could steal her. I will tell you what I think of 
that it's arson and piracy. You ought to be jailed 
for it, and shall be, if I live to enter charges 
against you. I demand to be put ashore." 

The Captain smiled a sickly smile and said with 
a breaking bravado : ' i That 's all right, Mr. Tevis. 
.But you've signed for this cruise, and you've got 
to go along. We need you to handle the electric 
lights aboard ship and for the diving later." 

"I signed for the Tropic Bird," was the deter- 
mined reply, "not for the Thetis." Then he 
thought of Hazel. "There is a young woman 
aboard, the daughter of the owner, and an English 
gentleman, a guest of his. I found them in a boat 
that had put off from the yacht while she was afire, 
and I helped to get them aboard again. I demand 


that they be put ashore, and that I be put ashore 
with them." 

"Oh, you do, do you?" sniffed Mrs. Thrale, with 
a cynical smile, while she stroked her cat. "I'd 
like to know!" 

"I was addressing the Captain," came Tevis' 
indifferent reply to the sea hawk. 

"Sorry," said the Captain apologetically, "but 
I can't let you land now. You see we're headed 
out on a long cruise. As for the young lady and 
the Englishman we'll take good care of them." 

"I think you'd better, sir," Tevis brought each 
word out broadly "that is, if you take them along 
on your cruise, which I don't intend you shall do. 
You doubtless have very good reasons for keeping 
us aboard you don't want anybody telling about 
this affair." 

"Gracious sakes alive!" broke out Mrs. Thrale. 
"I'd like to know! Now, sir, don't you think you 
and that young lady you're so interested in and 
the Lord, whatever his name is, are just as well off 
on board this yacht as anywhere! Ain't Captain 
Thrale just as good a master as Captain Bumble, 
and ain't we got a good crew, and ain't you on a 
better lay than ever?" 

"May I be permitted to ask," remarked the con- 
fused Tevis with no little asperity, "what is my 

Mrs. Thrale glanced at the quartermaster at 
the wheel. 


t ' Let's go down into the Captain's cabin," she 
suggested, gathering Port up into her arms. 

The three left the wheelhouse, bracing them- 
selves along the deck. Tevis gazed about for the 
Tropic Bird and he saw the Captain and his wife 
looking for her, too. 

" There she is!" cried Mrs. Thrale, with a sort 
of sinister delight. 

"Where!" asked the Captain. 

"Hull down, to shoreward." 

There was a faint glow far astern. 

"Not much left of her by this time," said the 
Captain with a sigh, which raised him a bit in 
Tevis' respect. 

"Less the better," said Mrs. Thrale, dryly. "Did 
you hear them tugs tooting in the fog back there? 
They're out after her." 

"Guess they won't find much," remarked the 

Even as he spoke, the glow paled to utter dark- 
ness. The Tropic Bird had vanished. 

' ( She 's gone clean, ' ' said the Captain ; " I knew 
she'd sink before they could get near her. They 
won't pick up as much as a gasket." He sighed 
again very deeply this time, and looked sadly 
across the sea to where the schooner in which he 
had sailed on so many voyages had gone down. 

1 ' Oh, don't bother about that old tub, ' ' said Mrs. 
Thrale, "with her rotten planks and masts just 
ready to drop. She ought to have gone to the bone- 
yard years ago." 


No sooner had they seated themselves in the 
Captain's room and the cat had been snuggled 
down into Mrs. Thrale 's lap than there was a knock 
at the door and in came Sir Charles Walden and 
Hazel Braisted. The girl's round face was white 
with excitement and her black hair was in beauti- 
ful disarray. Walden looked sullen, and then 
stared hard in his slow way at Thrale and his wife. 
Tevis was sitting in a corner behind the Captain's 
desk and neither Sir Charles nor Hazel saw him 
at first. 

"Is this Captain Thrale ?" demanded Walden 
in his big voice. 

"Yes, I'm the Captain," replied Thrale in his 
little voice. 

"Then, sir," cried Hazel, stepping forward in 
lovely dismay, her lustrous brown eyes full of 
searching inquiry, "perhaps you can tell me about 
my father. Is he aboard the yacht? I can't find 
him anywhere. Did he go ashore?" 

As she came nearer to Tevis, whose heart was 
full of her presence, he loked out of the angle be- 
hind the Captain's desk and their eyes met, while 
a little show of warm color came into the girl's 
white face. 

"Oh, Mr. Tevis!" she exclaimed, with radiant 
satisfaction in meeting him in that moment of her 
distress. "I'm so glad you're here. You can tell 
me what I want to know, I'm sure, about my 
father and Mrs. Poindexter." Her dark eyes gazed 
appealingly into his. 


" I'd be very glad to do so, if I could," began 
Tevis, "but " 

"He don't know anything about your father or 
your lady friend," broke in Mrs. Thrale, pausing 
in her petting of Port and looking at the girl with 
a certain air of hostility, while the Captain fid- 
geted at the desk, got up and sat down again. 
"He's just come aboard and hasn't seen him." 

"Then, Captain," cried the girl eagerly, hardly 
looking at the woman whom she evidently regarded 
as a rude creature, "maybe you can tell' me about 
him. Is he aboard the yacht or did he go ashore 1 ' ' 

Thrale fidgeted a little in his chair and looked 
at her uncertainly. 

"Can't you speak, man?" demanded Sir 
Charles, looking hard at him out of his cold gray 
eyes. "Why don't you answer the lady?" 

The Captain faced the picture of beautiful, con- 
fused young womanhood, and cleared his throat 
apologetically. Tevis offered her his seat, but she 
did not accept it and stood looking with soft in- 
quiry at Thrale. 

"My dear young lady," the Captain stammered, 
"your father I suppose you are Miss Braisted 
your father isn't aboard. He must have gone 
ashore in one of the boats." 

"I'm so afraid something has happened to 
him, ' ' said the girl, with quivering lips. i i Do you 
know which boat he went in? He made me go in 
the first one, and he waited aboard to see if they 
couldn't put out the fire. I wouldn't let the men 


row me ashore at first, but made them stay near 
the yacht waiting for him. After awhile he called 
to me that the yacht must surely go, for they 
couldn't get the fire out, as the pumps wouldn't 
work ; and he ordered our boatment to row in. We 
started, but were caught in the fog. The men 
quarrelled about which way to go, while we drifted 
about. Then a boat came and another and they 
guided us back to the yacht. I was surprised to 
find the fire had been extinguished. I heard that 
it was you and your schooner crew that came 
aboard and fought the flames after our men had 
given up the boat as lost. You must have worked 
very hard, Captain, to put it out, ' ' she added, look- 
ing straight at Thrale out of her big, dark eyes. 

The Captain stared at the flat top of the desk. 

"Yes, they did," assisted Mrs. Thrale, stroking 
her cat for inspiration. "It was an awful job. The 
heat in that hold was something horrible. One man 
was nearly suffocated." 

< t Terrible ! Poor fellow ! I hope he '11 soon re- 
cover ! ' ' said the girl with a sweet and ready sym- 
pathy that Tevis felt was native to her. ' ' But my 
father don't you know anything about him? I 
am so so anxious to know if he is safe. ' ' 

"Oh, don't worry," said Mrs. Thrale, in a 
strangely tender tone that startled Tevis, for it 
was the first he had ever heard her use. "He's all 
right. He went ashore with the rest, you can de- 
pend on that. There was nobody aboard when we 


"Nobody?" demanded Walden, looking at her 
incredulously. "Had everyone left the yacht ?" 

"Yes, sir," replied Mrs. Thrale shortly, "they 
had. We didn 't find a soul aboard. ' ' 

The words seemed to comfort the girl. She 
pressed a dainty little handkerchief to her eyes, 
and said: 

"Oh, no doubt he's safe he must be safe; but 
you know I couldn't help worrying. The fog was 
so thick and but the yacht is moving, and moving 
fast. Are we going back to San Diego?" 

Neither the Captain nor Mrs. Thrale was pre- 
pared for this quickly turned question. Thrale 
stared at the desk-top again and the sea hawk 
pressed her beak tight in perplexity. 

"No; we're not going to San Diego!" cried 
Tevis of a sudden, for he thought it time to say 
something. "We're putting out to sea. These 
people have seized the ship, and are trying to make 
off with her." 

Hazel turned, and there was large wonder in 
her deep eyes as she gazed at him. 

"Is that true how do you know that, Mr. 
Tevis?" she exclaimed. 

"Yes," sneered Sir Charles, "what are you 
doing here in company with these pirates?" 

"I am here, as you see," explained the young 
man, warmed a little by the insinuation, '"but I 
am no part of the plot. I shipped aboard the 
Tropic Bird as an electrician to go on a cruise to 
raise a wreck." 


"And instead of raising a wreck," was Walden's 
fling, "you're raising the wind with these precious 
pirates by stealing a valuable yacht. ' ' 

Miss Braisted lifted her hand as if in depreca- 
tion of these words. 

"I believe Mr. Tevis has been acting in good 
faith," said she, "though I am surprised to find 
him here. ' ' 

She said this with a show of friendliness that 
was grateful to Tevis. 

"I was just demanding of the Captain," Tevis 
went on, ' ' that the yacht be headed back to port, 
and restored to her rightful owner." 

i i Yes ; to my father. Oh, how I want to see him 
to know that he landed safely." She turned to 
the Captain again, indignation beginning to blaze 
in her eyes. "Captain Thrale," she said deter- 
minedly, in her clear round tones, "you have saved 
the Thetis, and my father will reward you 
reward you handsomely but you have no 
right " 

"Merciful me! "I'd like to know!" nasaled 
Mrs. Thrale, the bar sinister showing in her fore- 
head, "Now, young lady, you don't under- 
stand " 

"Pardon me, Madame," said Hazel, with a 
queenly wave of her hand. "I was speaking to 
Captain Thrale. I want him to explain his 
action. ' ' 

' Yes ; we came aboard, ' ' said Thrale slowly, his 
fingers fidgeting with the edge of the table. 


came aboard from the schooner Tropic Bird. We 
found the yacht afire. All her crew and officers 
had gone off in the boats. We put out the fire. 
Then, as there was nobody to take charge of her, 
we just put our whole crew aboard you see we 
had a large crew and 

"And then you played pirate and ran her out to 
sea, ' ' was Hazel 's firm and frigid accusation. 

"After setting fire to his own schooner/' de- 
clared Tevis, "so that those ashore might be mis- 
led into the belief that the Thetis really burned, 
as Captain Dumble has doubtless reported by tMs 

"Oh, that's how the other vessel came to be afire, 
was it?" cried Hazel, remembering the blaze she 
had seen at sea. 

1 1 Yes, ' ' he replied, ' ' that 's it. ' ' He felt that he 
could have told her more, but refrained, for some- 
thing whispered to him that what he suspected of" 
the conspiracy had better be kept back for the 

"But, Captain, even though you saved the 
Thetis/' said Hazel, "she doesn't belong to you. 
Of course you must have thought so, or you 
wouldn 't have burned your own vessel. The yacht 
belongs " 

"Land sakes!" broke in Mrs. Thrale, her eyes 
burning like points of crude fire and her forehead 
bar showing severely, "I guess you don't know 
much about marine matters, young lady. People 
who sail in yachts generally don't. Goodness me ! 


Can't you see she had been abandoned by her mas- 
ter and crew she was a derelict, and anybody 
happening along, had a right to her, if they could 
save her." 

"Is that true, Sir Charles?" asked the girl, pal- 
ing a little. ' ' You understand law. ' ' 

"Well, it may be true about some derelicts," 
said Walden, "but in this case the Captain, as it 
seems to me, merely went ashore for assistance 
for tugs to put out the fire. And, in any event, I 
should say the vessel must be taken to the nearest 
port. You are merely the salvor, ' ' he said, looking 
at the Captain. "I don't remember what the law 
is, but don't you have to put into the closest port 
and post notices and that sort of thing?" 

The Captain made an apologetic mumble in his 
throat, which brought Mrs. Thrale up, standing to 
her guns like a veteran. 

"No, we don't!" she cried conclusively. "We 
can go to any port we like. Supposing we wanted 
to go to Valparaiso we could do it, and they 
couldn't lift a finger. For all you know, we're going 
there, sir, and you are going along, and this young 
lady and Mr. Tevis. So you might as well make 
yourselves at home, as you've been doing here; 
and that 'sail settled." 

"Yes settled!" said the Captain, with a show 
of firmness. 

' i Supper will be served at eight bells in the own- 
er 's dining-room," said the new mistress of the.' 
Thetis, rising and letting the cat spring to the 


floor, "and you can eat there if you ain't too high- 
toned to sit at table with us. If you are," she 
added, with mocking softness, "I'll send your 
meals to your rooms." 

There were further expostulations, and de- 
mands, and, on Miss Braisted's part, even en- 
treaties ; but the sea hawk did not ruffle a feather, 
and the Captain, so ably backed up, was also rigid 
enough, though they all had secret hopes of pre- 
vailing upon him a little later, when he could be 
importuned alone and not in the presence of the 
woman who so plainly dominated him. But there 
were the other officers and the crew. Tevis reflect- 
ed that it would be hard to win them over, for they 
were doubtless all in the plot and eager for their 
share of the loot. 

"You can keep your same rooms," said Mrs. 
Thrale when Hazel and Sir Charles turned de- 
jectedly from the Captain's cabin. "Your Jap 
the little fellow who was in the boat you came 
aboard in told me which ones they were. If you 
don't mind, the Captain and I will keep the two 
large ones just forward of yours, Miss Braisted." 

The girl sighed, gave Tevis a little nod, and 
went out with Sir Charles. Tevis followed the re- 
treating figures aft and to the door of the saloon, 
with the intention of saying something to Hazel. 
He wanted to explain his position more fully to the 
young woman in whose eyes he wished to be thor- 
oughly justified. But on going below, she said 


" Good-night, " and went straight to her room, 
which was just off the saloon. 

" Beastly situation, " grumbled Sir Charles, tol- 
erating Tevis for the moment, as there was no one 
else to talk with. "Perfectly rotten, don't you 
think ? ' ' He sank into a big easy chair. 

"Tell me," asked Tevis, "how did you come to 
sail down here? You were going to Honolulu. 
This is away off your course. How did it happen ? ' ' 

"Blest if I know," declared Walden, hopelessly. 
"I thought we were going down to the islands di- 
rect, but here we are off this rotten old place. 
Yacht catches afire, that little old Yankee pirate 
seizes us and now we're off for the Lord knows 
where. It's a beastly country, that's what it is." 

"I don't know what the country has to do with 
it," remarked Tevis coolly; "but I wish you would 
tell me one thing: Where was Captain Durable 
when the fire broke out on the yacht?" 

"Haven't the slightest idea in the world, my 
man," replied Walden. "I was down in Phelps* 
room with a couple of other men playing that 
beastly American game of poker. It's a rotten 
game I never won a shilling at it yet." 

It became evident to Tevis that he would learn 
nothing from Walden that would help him to clear 
up the mystery. So, with another expectant glance 
at the door through which Miss Braisted had dis- 
appeared, he started up the companion. Stepping 
on deck at the last stroke of seven bells, he went 
immediately to Thrale's cabin. He wanted to find 


out what had become of the luggage he had left 
on the burned schooner. The Captain in reply to 
his questions said he supposed his things were all 
right. The steward would know. He asked if 
Tevis would not get the generators to working 
and turn on the electric lights. The young man 
hesitated reluctantly, but when he thought of 
Hazel and how 'she must miss the cheer of the 
bright electrics he was ready for the work. 

He hunted up the steward, who informed him 
that all his belongings were safe aboard. They 
were in the between-decks room which Mrs. Thrale 
had assigned to him. The steward showed him 
the room. It was a very neat little affair, paneled 
in oak ; and prettily decorated ; but the former oc- 
cupant had left on the walls some dazzling pictures 
of women, a few not altogether proper, and his 
taste seemed otherwise lavish, for there was no end 
of tinsel stuff and gimcrackery stuck up around the 
wainscot. As soon as the steward had gone, Tevis 
sat down for a moment to think. He had been in 
such a head-muddling whirl for the past few hours 
that he wanted a chance to clear up matters. That 
fire aboard the yacht! How had the flames been 
extinguished? What had been the damage? He 
was determined to learn these things, if possible, 
though it seemed likely that where there was so 
much mystery, he would encounter difficulties in 
his quest. 

He opened a valise and took out a pair of old 
overalls, a blouse and a cap. He would get the 


generators to work and then he would begin to in- 
vestigate. In his costume and capacity of elec- 
trician he would have a good opportunity to do 

Summoning Jim Beynolds, the young man who 
was to act as his assistant, he went with him, down 
the iron ladder that led into the engine room. They 
soon had the generators burring away, and the 
current switched on. Now for the investigation. 
Tevis slipped a little electric lantern into the front 
of his blouse, and sauntered leisurely into the fire- 
room among the men. At that moment there 
seemed to be a scramble to get up steam, for the 
stokers were heaving in coal at a lively rate. No- 
body noticed the electrician. He made his way 
forward past the coal bunkers and through a bulk- 
head door and came to a low, narrow passage, 
leading into the hold. Here in the passage he 
smelled lingering fumes that came to his nostrils 
as the odor of burnt rags. A little farther along 
his feet encountered a soft, soggy mass that 
showed under the glow of his lantern as old pieces 
of wet sailcloth and mattresses, partly burned. 
He kicked some of the stuff over and revealed odds 
and ends of unconsumed tow and greasy waste. 

Here, then, was the Thetis' fire, at close range 
a clearly concocted affair a fire that was nothing 
more than a smudge, though a powerful one and 
well calculated to create terror in the breasts of 
those aboard who were not in the plot. It was a 
perfectly safe incendiarism, for not only was the 


floor of iron, but the side walls, too. Tevis kicked 
over some more of the half-consumed stuff. Un- 
derneath it and a little way up the sides he found 
some large sheets of asbestos. The whole mass 
of smudge stuff might have burned quite merrily 
without danger to the yacht. With that bulkhead 
door leading to the boiler room closed, and the 
hatches ajar and pouring forth a dense volume 
of smoke, the fire panic could have been spread to 
the engine-rooms, from the deck, and no one below 
need be let into the secret. Two of the yacht's men, 
entering from the forward hatch, could have ar- 
ranged the whole job, and one man with a few 
buckets of water could speedily have extinguished 
the smudge in the passage. 

It was now clear that an honest, though unwit- 
ting attempt to extinguish the fire could have been 
made by the men of the yacht, who might have sent 
streams of water from the fire hose into the smok- 
ing hold, without once wetting the smoldering stuff 
in the little nook of a passage, and then have de- 
sisted without suspicion when Captain Dumble had 
ordered them away, telling them their efforts were 

But the red glare? How was that to be account- 
ed for? It came from the deck and could have 
been seen by the crew, very few of whom were 
probably taken into the conspiracy. Yes, but when 
did the glare break forth? Probably not until 
everybody but the Captain and his confederates 
had left the vessel. A safe and not too pyrotech- 


nic blaze could easily have been made by the burn- 
ing of a mixture of red-and-yellow fire, from the 
iron top of a hatch. 

Shutting the bulkhead door behind him, Tevis 
stepped over the mass of smudge stuff in the pas- 
sage and peered from an open doorway into the 
hold, the floor of which was a few steps down from 
the alleyway. Flashing his lantern into the dark 
little room, he looked searchingly about. He was 
now well down in the bottom of the yacht, where 
the angle-iron ribs and braces of her lower waist 
showed out roughly and yet he could see no water, 
only a little suggestion of dampness here and 
there. About him loomed huge packing-cases and 
crates, and without looking very closely at these, 
he made sure in a moment that among them were 
the very ones that had been shipped from his old 
shop in Oakland. They contained the wires and 
electric fixtures, and those others doubtless held 
the diving dresses, hose and pumps. He passed 
his hand over his forehead in dazed perplexity and 
then it came to him suddenly and with the certainty 
of perfect conviction, that the boatswain was right 
in his first unguarded statement that the electric 
outfit and diving apparatus had never been aboard 
the Tropic Bird. It was clear now that they had 
all been stowed in the yacht's hold before leaving 
port. One thing seemed plain enough their pres- 
ence here was a part of the very peculiar plan, 
whatever it was, concocted by Captain Thrale and 
Captain Dumble. It was, he felt sure, a plan ar- 


ranged for a consideration and was doubtless un- 
known to the owner of the yacht. 

Just as he was leaving the hold-alley, with his 
lantern tucked into his blouse, Tevis saw the boat- 
swain and another man coming from the engine- 
room. He dodged in among the coal bunkers and 
waited until they had passed him. The boatswain 
remained by the bulkhead door, while the other 
man gathered up the fragments of the sail-cloth, 
mattresses, and other material and took them into 
the hold. Then the boatswain followed, and soon 
Tevis heard him call out, " Hoist away!" 

The tell-tale stuff was being removed through 
the hatchway to be thrown overboard in the night. 



LEAVING the lower deck, Tevis hastened to his 
room, got out some clean things and made himself 
ready for dinner, hoping all the while that Hazel 
Braisted would be there, yet somehow doubting it. 
He was burning to see her, for there were many 
things he wanted to discuss with her, and his heart 
assured him that he would not be unwelcome to 
her presence, nor, indeed, to her confidence. He 
looked into the saloon on his way to join the 
Thrales at dinner, but she was not there, nor did 
he see the baronet. 

Although he felt himself a pressed man aboard 
the steamer and was still sore under the indignity 
of it, Tevis had cooled down to a somewhat politic 
state, for he felt that, for the time, there was more 
to be gained by quiet concession than by kicks. 

He was in this new mood when, in the richly dec- 
orated dining-room, he met Mrs. Thrale, in her 
new-found state. There, too, was the Captain, 
looking a little uncomfortable in all the luxury of 
the place, but neither Miss Braisted nor Sir 
Charles was present. Mrs. Thrale was closely 
examining the china and cut glass wedged into the 



racks of a pretty sideboard, and Thrale was trying 
to follow her explanation. of them, which was some- 
what misleading. Despite the discomfort of his 
new position, the Captain managed a look of quiet 
mastery when he gazed about under the soft elec- 
tric lights. He even braved forth in a little pleas- 

" Don't this beat schooner life by a few knots?" 
he asked, waving his hand toward the highly dec- 
orated panels, representing hunting scenes and 
shepherdesses with their flocks. 

"All handpainted, too," said Mrs. Thrale. "And 
the china and cut glass it's grand!" 

"Did they leave the silver?" asked Thrale 

"A little, not much; but there's plenty plated 
ware. And you ought to see the linen napkins as 
big as pillow slips, and the table's solid mahogany. 
Yes," she said, turning to Tevis, "there's every- 
thing you can think of, all over the ship. Two 
pianos, one that goes by machinery. No end of 
books and magazines in the library. And you 
just ought to see the laundry and the big kitchen 
range, and the copper pans, and the ice plant and 
the cold-storage room, and the bath-rooms, with 
their solid marble tubs and white tiles, and the 
owner's and guests' rooms, all in bird's-eye 
maple. Mine and Miss Braisted's are lined with 
silk, and there's full-length mirrors. And the 
beds, they're all the finest curled hair that is, on 
this deck; not for the hands, of course. 


"What are you going to do with Miss Brais- 
ted?" asked Tevis, getting back to what was to 
him the main point of interest in the situation. 
"Aren't you going to let her go ashore? You 
could put in at San Pedro, if you. don't wantto go 
back to San Diego." 

"Oh, we'll think about that later," said Mrs. 
Thrale. i ' You and I and the Captain are going to 
have a. little supper here and talk things over. I Ve 
ordered a nice steak and fried potatoes and there's 
some lovely celery and lettuce-and-tomato salad. 
The Captain loves salad. ' ' 

It was astonishing how, in such a short time, the 
former mistress of the sordid little schooner had 
acquainted herself with everything aboard the 
magnificent yacht, down to the minutest details. 
If she had taken pride in her fleckless marine 
housekeeping before, she fairly glowed with it now. 

They sat down at the big round table, with its 
clean, white cover and sparkling glass and cut- 
lery, Mrs. Thrale confidently, the Captain uncom- 
fortably, and Tevis just a bit morose. 

"Miss Braisted and the lord ain't coming to 
dinner to-night," said Mrs. Thrale. "But we'll 
have 'em to meals regular after this, I guess, and 
you, too, Mr. Tevis. Where is that buzzer?" She 
was feeling about on the rug with her foot. ' t There, 
I guess I struck it." 

A door swung open from the pantry and in came 
the little Japanese servitor, silent and stiff in his 
white jacket. 


"Yo What's your name?" puzzled Mrs. 


"Yokio, ma'am," said the Japanese. 

"Oh, it's too outlandish and I'll always be for- 
getting rt," said she impatiently. "I think I'll 
call you Charley. Charley, bring the steak right 
in and the potatoes and things." 

The Jap, who was evidently pleased, with this 
new cognomen, breathed through his teeth in the 
hissing inspiration which is the sign of great re- 
spect on the part of the menials of his race toward 
their masters, and was otherwise as deferential as 
he could possibly have been to the yacht's million- 
aire owner. Soon the meal was served. The Cap- 
tain tucked the corner of his big napkin into his 
collar and attacked the steak with the carving 
knife, as if he were harpooning a shark. 

"For the land sake, Captain Thrale!" cried 
his wife, "put down that knife and fork." 

"What's the trouble?" asked her husband in his 
deprecating way. 

"Why, ain't you going to ask the blessing? I 
guess we ain't got too high-toned for that, have 
we ? I 'd like to know ! ' ' 

"I thought " began the Captain; and Tevis 
pursued his mental logic: Aboard a stolen ship, 
grace before meat seemed out of place. But he 
bent his head, and so did Mrs. Thrale and Tevis 
she very low and reverently and mumbled the 
words. Then he harpooned his steak again and 
was soon eating voraciously and swallowing cup- 


ful after cupful of the tea which Mrs. Thrale 
poured after she had turned the saucers over, 
looked carefully at their bottoms and held them up 
to the light. 

When the Captain and Tevis leaned back in their 
chairs puffing the perfectos which the Jap handed 
around in a big fat box, it seemed a strange situa- 
tion, though a very comfortable one. Tevis had 
never before enjoyed the ease and luxury of such 

"Captain, we're going to own a boat like this 
ourselves some day," said Mrs. Thrale, looking 
about at the shepherdesses, "and sail all over the 
hull world. There's nothing like a private steam- 
er, and we're going to have one." 

"Maybe," he replied through a wreath of blue 
tobacco smoke. "Maybe, Emily." 

"Why," said Tevis, just a bit satirically, "you 
own this one, don't you? You run her as if you 

1 ' Oh, we 're running her all right, ' ' was the wom- 
an 's dry little return, "though if she was my yacht 
I wouldn't let men smoke up these beautiful pic- 
tures. Still, as long as the other folks did and 
you've got such good cigars, I won't say anything. 
But about what you just remarked, Mr. Tevis 
now you don't suppose we're big enough fools to 
throw ashes to windward, or to think we can keep 
her forever, do you 1 All we want of her is just for 
this cruise." 

"You mean, for the wrecking work?" he asked 


innocently but looking straight at the sea hawk to 
note the effect of his question. 

"Now, Mr. Tevis," said she, resting her lean 
elbow on the table and looking at him narrowly 
with her button-bright eyes, ' ' does it stand to rea- 
son we'd need this fine, expensive yacht, burning 
I don't know how many tons of coal a day, just to 
got down to the islands and raise a little old schoon- 
er, worth, maybe, three thousand dollars? No, 
we 've got a bigger thing than that. ' ' She paused 
a moment and looked toward her husband, who 
smiled an uncertain little smile. "You've been 
making some objections, Mr. Tevis, wanting to be 
put ashore, and so on. My country ! Do you know 
what you'd be throwing away if you went ashore 
and we got another electrician to go on with this 
thing! Why, you'd throw away a fortune." 

* t That 's what you would, ' ' affirmed the Captain. 

' ' Granted, ' ' said the young man, with more than 
a shade of severity. "You doubtless have some 
profitable enterprise in view, but I ask you if this 
thing looks right! To begin with, you seize a val- 
uable yacht and then you " 

"Hold on," rasped Mrs. Thrale, the bar sinister 
deepening in her brow, and her black eyes harcTas 
bullets. "I've heard enough of that kind of talk. 
Lawsy me! She ain't stole. Didn't you see us 
pick her up as a derelict ? I 'd like to know ! ' ' 

"But you knew she was not fairly and regularly 
derelict," insisted Tevis, his blue eyes flashing. 
"You were in a scheme some would call it a con- 


spiracy with Captain Dumble, by which you were 
to gain possession of her on pretence of a fire. You 
are not dealing fairly with the owner of the yacht 
you are running off with his property, when you 
ought to be taking it back to port. ' ' 

"Oh, you don't under stand, " repeated Thrale. 
" We're on an even keel here. We don't list port 
or starboard." 

"Then why don't you enlighten me?" asked 
Tevis irritably. "I don't believe you can make 
your share in the affair look any whiter than it 

"Well," said the Captain, "supposing that a 
very rich man a big Wall-street millynaire had 
dragged anchor in his business and drifted toward 
white water near an ugly reef. Supposing he finds 
his affairs in such bad shape that all he can do is 
to cut his cable and make a run for it, which he 
does and sails to a port a good many thousand 
miles to westward. Then supposing he gets news 
by wire that his business is gone all to smash and 
he ain't got a dollar in the world except what's 
tied up in a steam yacht on which he's squandered 
a pot of money, but which he can't sell right out 
of the dock because she's so many thousand miles 
away from any place where they buy steam yachts. 
He thinks about her insurance, don't he how he 
can get hold of it!" 

"But Mr. Braisted isn't that kind of a man," 
protested Tevis. "I've seen him, and I could tell 
that plainly enough." He felt somehow that he 


must uphold Hazel 's father, though as a matter of 
fact, he knew very little about him, merely taking 
it for granted that a man with so charming a 
daughter must needs be a worthy one. 

"Oh, that kind of a man!" retorted Mrs. Thrale 
contemptuously. "Bidn't he try to get Captain 
Bumble to burn her? The Captain now there's 
an honorable man he let on that he would, but 
the more he thought about it and how he loved the 1 
ship and all, the more he made up his mind Ee^ 

"So Bumble pretended to burn her, after mak- 
ing a bargain with you ! ' ' said Tevis, whose mintl 
had been swiftly at work. "How much did you 
agree to pay the grafter ? ' ' 

"That don't cut any figure," was Thrale 's 

"Well, let's say a few thousand. How much is 
the insurance?" 

"Two hundred and fifty thousand," replied 

"As much as that?" Tevis lifted his eyebrows. 

"That wasn't too high," insisted the Captain. 
i l She cost him over half a million. ' ' 

Tevis reflected a moment. Here, indeed, was a 
strange explanation of the plot. He could accept 
Bumble's share in it, but hardly that which the 
Thrales had imputed to Braisted. 

"How was he to collect the insurance money?" 
he asked. ' l The creditors would count the policies 
as an asset. They would " 


1 i Policies all in his daughter 's name, ' ' explained 
the Captain. "He transferred the yacht to her six 
months ago. His wife was dead. He had only his 
daughter. ' ' 

"Then this yacht belongs to Miss Braisted. You 
have seized her property, ' ' declared Tevis. 

" I 'd like to know ! ' ' snapped Mrs. Thrale. ' ' Tell 
hhn how it stands, Captain." 

"Why, you know how them things are," said the 
Captain, waving his hand, as if here were a most 
common occurrence. "Transferring a ship that 
way is like taking a dollar out of your right-hand 
pocket and putting it into your left. It was a 
makeshift a neat little business trick." 

"And, of course, perfectly justifiable," sneered 
Tevis; "and your part of the affair, too." 

"So far as we are concerned, it was," Mrs. 
Thrale gazed at him superiorly out of her hard 
black eyes. "All we did was to pick her up after 
she had been abandoned, put out the fire that was 
burning her " 

"A smudge of wet sail-cloth and old mattresses, 
with a little red fire to make a good stage effect," 
was Tevis ' sharp and sudden thrust an unexpect- 
ed rejoinder that brought queer looks from both 
the Captain and his wife. 

"But she was a derelict, just the same," insisted 
the woman, defiantly, "and we went aboard and 
manned her." 

"With a crew brought down for the occasion," 
said Tevis sternly. "I don't see " 


"Derelict!" the sea hawk persisted, bowing her 
unrelenting beak. "And the kind of derelict that 
don't count for anything except to the people who 
save her. The owner didn't want her he gave 
up all claims to her, didn 't he, when he set her afire 
and abandoned her! We've done him a good turn, 
though he hasn't heard about it we have saved 
him from what-do-you-call-it ? ' ' 

"Arson," supplied the Captain. 

"Yes, arson; and he'll no doubt be thankful in 
time when he repents of the deed." 

"And you needn't think the underwriters are 
going to make any kick," said the Captain. 
' ' They'll be too darned glad to find out, after a few 
months, that the yacht's all right. I suppose he's 
declared his loss already he wouldn't lose any 
time. The underwriters may pay out the money on 
her, but, they'll get it all back when she returns to 
port. She 's good for it. ' ' 

"But they'll make trouble for you when you 
land," was Tevis' final objection. 

"Oh, we'll just run in to some little California 
harbor, anchor, skip ashore, and disappear after 
we've sent a note by a messenger reporting her," 
replied Thrale confidently, "That will be about 
the way of it, and nobody harmed that I can see. ' ' 

Then they disclosed their plans, or at least 
a part of them. These were to run the Thetis 
down to Mazatlan, coal her and cruise up the Gulf 
of California, along the narrow strip of coast 
which divides that long inland sea from the Pacific. 


There they would make use of the diving and elec- 
trical appliances, but to what purpose they did not 
at first divulge. Not being acquainted with those 
waters Tevis could think of nothing but wrecking 
as the object of the cruise. But again and again 
he was assured that no wrecking enterprise was 
planned or had been planned. They frankly ac- 
knowledged that the scheme as set before him at 
the first had been a ruse. They would have told 
him of their real intentions at the outset, they 
owned, but he was a landsman, would not have un- 
derstood and might have balked. 

"Well," said Tevis, "I hardly know what to be- 
lieve now, after all your falsehoods, but I shall 
insist upon being told what there is afoot, and I'll 
make my own deductions. It will not change in 
the least my present attitude toward you, nor my 
desire, I should say my demand, to be put ashore. ' ' 

"Oh, yes; it will," said Mrs. Thrale, smiling 
confidently. " It 's too big a thing for a young man 
like you to throw over his shoulder. ' ' 

"What is it?" he demanded. 

"It's a fortune that's what it is," she declared, 
conclusively "a fortune for us all." He had 
never seen gripping avarice shine from the eyes 
of anyone as they shone from hers, when she said 
these words. "It's a fortune. It means houses 
and lots and a yacht like this, and all kinds of 

"Perhaps," he said, his curiosity ranging high, 
though he was not tempted by her talk; "but will 


you kindly tell me what it is?" He looked at the 
Captain, and out of his mouth there shot, as it 
seemed involuntarily, the word: " Pearls!" 


"Yes, thousands of 'em the biggest, richest 
pearls in the world. ' ' 

' ' That 's right, ' ' affirmed Mrs. Thrale. ' ' They 're 
down there, and we mean to have 'em. And the 
shell, too that's worth something." 

"The shell?" repeated Tevis. 

"Yes mother-of-pearl." The sea hawk's eyes 
gloated over the prospect. 

"The banks," said Thrale, "have been worked 
all up and down the coast ever since the days of 
the old mission padres. The Mexican government 
grants concessions to four or five companies and 
they try to keep everybody else out, though they 
don 't half work their claims. The biggest boat any 
of 'em has got ain't sixty feet long, and we're a 
hundred and twenty-two over all. But they 've got 
nothing to do with us. We'll go to work on a scale 
that'll make them slow-going dagoes and China- 
men open their eyes, if they see us." 

"But they won't see us," cried Mrs. Thrale, 
with the air of one already in possession of a great 

"That's what the submarine electric lights are 
for," owned the Captain, looking at the young 
man half -apologetically. "That's my idea. I've 
been waiting for years for a chance to do some- 
thing down there, but I never had the right kind 


of a ship. You'll have nothing to complain of, Mr. 
Tevis. We're going to treat you handsomely. 
Your share will be a twentieth." 

1 'But it's poaching," declared the young man. 
"From what you say, it looks to me as though 
Mexico had granted the same kind of rights to 
these pearl companies that the United States has 
granted to the Alaskan sealers. You can't go 
pearl-fishing in the Gulf of California any more 
than you can go seal-hunting in the Bering Sea. ' ' 

"Oh, but it's different, entirely different," per- 
sisted Mrs. Thrale. "A seal is something that 
goes ashore and climbs upon the rocks. The pearl 
oysters are down at the bottom of the Gulf, and 
you have to fish them up. Nobody can give any- 
body else a right to anything that's down in the 
sea and stays there. If they can, why then I want 
to stop sailing God's free ocean and go back to 
farming on the Penobscot. ' ' 

She went on expounding her marine ' ' rights ' ' at 
some length. It was all a part of the peculiar 
philosophy, mixed with the strange Puritanism, 
which completely justified to her conscience, the 
seizing of the yacht and putting forth to sea in 
her, rather than permitting her to go through a 
legal process for whatever salvage the courts 
might have allowed. Sufficient unto themselves 
were the moral laws of Mrs. Thrale. Her uxori- 
ous husband, always the weaker vessel, believed in 
them and in her, and she strengthened that belief 


on occasion, with her sharp elbows, her avid eyes 
and her "I'd like to know/' 

"Yes, Mr. Tevis," said the Captain. "We'll 
make Mazatlan in about two days and La Paz in 
about two more. Then for the banks. The richest 
ones are off the western islands. We can gather 
"shell in fifteen fathoms, where them Chinamen and 
dagoes can't reach with their old-fashioned outfits. 
We can work all summer around them islands and 
rot enough shell to make us all rich for life. ' ' 

"And you're going to come right along," said 
Mrs. Thrale, turning to Tevis sweetly, i l and so is 
Miss Braisted and the lord. Mighty pleasant 
sailing down there on the Gulf. Mazatlan La 
Paz. You just ought to see La Paz ! Palms, white 
beach, bright, warm sun just like places you find 
in fairyland." 

"I've never been to fairyland," said Tevis, 
rather testily, though somehow he could not help 
feeling that the dominant force of this strange 
woman was bound to work in its own way. 

But they had spoken of entering port at Mazat- 
lan and La Paz. This seemed a risky thing to do 
with a stolen steamer. If they did so, might it 
not be possible for him to escape and help Hazel 
ashore, too? So, while he talked with the Thrales 
about the poaching enterprise and seemingly fell 
in with their plans, he was quietly plotting, on his 
own account. He saw a stout Mexican harbor 
master in charge of the yacht, a few days delay 


in telegraphing and then a quick return to San 

Yet such is the perversity of human nature 
and particularly of human nature in love he saw, 
too, that if the plot of the Thrales unwound as 
they wished, he should not be so very miserable, 
for were there not here adventure and hazard such 
as tame, shore-going folk never dreamed of bits 
of brisk living not to be scorned by a man with red 
blood in his veins and, best of all, for a shipmate 
the most winsome young woman in all the world ?' 



BUT even though he was capable of this healthy 
though irregular sentiment, there could not fail to 
come to him a feeling of depression when, on the 
morrow, as they steamed past the brown cliffs of 
the San Benito Islands, keeping well to seaward 
and out of the line of the coasting trade, he saw 
Hazel Braisted leaning against the rail and look- 
ing wistfully astern, with sadly drooping head. 

To a beauty such as hers sorrow adds its own 
charm, and in her grieving state she was more 
interesting than ever. He wondered what he 
might do to relieve and hearten her. 

"Good morning, Miss Braisted, " he said, pass- 
ing aft after a hesitating moment. 

' ' Good morning, Mr. Tevis ! ' ' A look of encour- 
agement came into her face as she turned to him, 
though her next words were cheerless enough: 
"Isn't this terrible, to have one's own yacht 
stolen and to be carried off in her without knowing 
one's destination? And to think father hasn't 
the remotest idea where I am, and I don't know 
whether or not he and Mrs. Poindexter got safely 



ashore in the boat it was so foggy and squally 
and all." 

"Oh, they're all right,' 7 was his hasty assur- 
ance. "The boat could have been rowed ashore 
in half an hour. They were only a little way out, 
you know." 

She looked at him gratefully out of the liquid 
depths of her dark brown eyes. 

"You don't know how cheering your words are 
to me," she said, brightening as she spoke. "I 
suppose it's awfully foolish for me to worry. I 
couldn't sleep all last night." She glanced at the 
patent log. "But we're getting miles and miles 
away from San Diego. Where in the world are 
we going!" 

He looked at her and wondered if it would be 
wise to let her know the scope and purpose of the 
voyage. While he hesitated she went on : 

"I have a little compass in my cabin, and ac- 
cording to it we are sailing due south. I had 
hoped it would be north, for then we might be 
putting into some Californian harbor where I 
could telegraph to father. ' ' 

While deciding whether it would be best for her 
to know what to her might seem the desperate en- 
terprise of the Thrales upon which her yacht was 
going, he talked quietly with the girl, in a reassur- 
ing voice. Without attempting to play the part 
of uninvited champion or to thrust his services 
upon her, he wished her to understand that he 
would make it the greater part of his duty to see 


that, although she was surrounded by strange men 
and the strangest of all women, no harm should 
come to her. 

He was rewarded by a confident smile on the 
girl's face and even by a return of some of that 
gayety of spirit which he had seen from the first 
was characteristic. Still there were recurrent mo- 
ments of depression. 

"But my father," she sighed dejectedly "he 
won't know what has become of me. He will worry 
himself to death. You don't know how he he 
cares for me. And I I 'm so uncertain about him. 
Do you really think, Mr. Tevis, that he got ashore 

"Certainly," reaffirmed Tevis. "He must have 
done so. And it's more than likely that by this 
time it is known that it was the schooner and not 
the yacht that burned." 

"In that case, and if he thought I were aboard 
here, he would be after us in the fastest boat he 
could charter," said Hazel. Then she glanced 
down at the fleeing ferment of white whipped up 
by the yacht's propeller and forward to the long 
low line of water that broke from her bow and 
shook her head sadly. ' i No Captain Dumble said 
there wasn't anything along the coast that could 
overhaul the Thetis." 

"But she'll lay-to somewhere before long," 
were Tevis ' encouraging words. ' ' Thrale and his 
wife can't carry out their plans without doing 


1 1 What are their plans 1 ' ' asked the girl wonder- 
ingly, looking at him keenly out of intent, expect- 
ant eyes. 

Tevis still hesitated. Then, as he saw no good 
reason for not apprising her of the pearl-poaching 
plot, he told her all he knew about it. 

' ' Oh, the pirates ! ' ' declared the girl at the end 
of the recital. "Of course they don't intend to 
harm us they're evidently not that kind; but to 
think they would steal my yacht to go into a busi- 
ness like this! Dear old Thetis! Why, you know 
the last time she went on a long voyage we had 
six missionaries and their wives aboard. And for 
the Thetis to turn pirate ! What would Mrs. Poin- 
dexter say?" 

Tevis thought he caught a reflection of the 
glamour of romance in the girl's tone and it oc- 
curred to him as he recalled his own reckless feel- 
ing of the previous night that to human nature, in 
women as in men, the lure of adventure was some- 
thing rarely to be denied. Even while the thought 
was in 'his mind, the girl, pulling the visor of her 
white yachting cap a little further over her splen- 
did dark eyes and brushing back with her ungloved 
fingers a flutter of vagrant hair, said reflectively 
'and with a quiet smile : 

"I suppose, after all, there's a bit of the Viking 
in me, for don't you know, if I wasn't so worried 
about father, I shouldn't greatly mind a voyage 
like this my life has been 50 conventional. If 
one could leave out the killing part, do you think it 


would be so awfully, awfully wicked to be a pirate? 
Oh, how my Puritan ancestors would groan on 
hearing that! Have you talked with Mrs. 
Thrale T ' ' Her face took on a piquant look. ' ' She 's 
a Puritan if ever there was one. She's full of the 
quaintest New England notions and religious! 
You wouldn't think it, to hear her scold the men. 
She came in and read a chapter of the Bible to me 
last night. It was from the 'Book of Job/ and 
really it seemed to do me good. But think of it 
a Puritan pirate ! ' ' 

She laughed, but her face soon changed as she 
gazed astern, and he knew she was thinking of the 
widening of the distance between her and her 

As he was leaving her to go forward she said, 
with a little note of fervency that was all her own 
and that was one of her charms of manner : 

"I'm so glad you have talked with me, Mr. 
Tevis. You don't know how it has cheered me." 

Just as he left her to go forward he saw Walden 
approaching them. The Englishman was smok- 
ing a cigar and muttering something to himself 
about the "rotten service" aboard ship under the 
new regime. 

"Just fancy!" he complained, speaking more 
to Hazel than to Tevis, whom he eyed with a shade 
of distrust. ' ' I had to ring for a boy six times just 
now before he would come, and what do you think 
the fellow's excuse was? He was polishing the 
silver for Mrs. Thrale." 


"There's New England housewifery for you!' 7 
said Miss Braisted, laughing. She'll polish it 
down thin before she leaves the yacht." 

"And when she goes she'll carry off what's left 
of it you see, ' ' said Walden fiercely. 

' ' No, ' ' said Tevis. ' "I think it 's this way about 
Mrs. Thrale : She'd warp her ideas of marine mor- 
ality to borrow the yacht to carry out her own 
and the captain's schemes, but as for the silver, 
she wouldn't take as much as a souvenir coffee 
spoon. She wouldn't even let her cat scratch one 
of the leather chairs. ' ' 

He turned to go. 

"Hold on, Tevis," said Walden. "You say 
you're not in the plot, and I suppose we'll have to 
take you at your word. But would you mind tell- 
ing me what all this means f ' ' 

"No; I don't mind," replied Tevis. He felt ill 
at ease in the company of the baronet. Still, as he 
ran over the plans of the Thrales he could see that 
Walden, tremendously concerned because of what 
was going forward, was drawn a little nearer to 
him as the result of his new knowledge. The Eng- 
lishman said nothing for a time, but stood leaning 
against the rail, thoughtfully puffing his cigar, 
while Hazel sat in a wicker chair, gazing astern or 
glancing sadly at the patent log near her elbow 
as it reeled off the miles that were dividing her 
from her father. 

In relating the plan to Miss Braisted and Wal- 
den it had been glossed over in certain disagree- 


able phases by the thoughtful Tevis, who did not 
wish to alarm the girl more than was necessary. 
When he left the two to go forward, he had 
hardly reached 'midships before he felt Sir 
Charles' big hand upon his shoulder. 

"Look here, old chap," said the baronet in a less 
haughty tone than he had yet addressed him, and 
with his large front teeth gleaming in a friendly 
smile. ' ' I want to know more about this. Come 
down into my room, where we can be alone, and 
smoke a cigar with me. ' ' 

"All right," said Tevis, "only I can't stay very 
long as I have some work to do on the dynamos." 

"What I want to know," said Walden as he sat 
on a little divan opposite Tevis and the two men 
lighted their cigars, "is what kind of a mess we're 
likely to get mixed up in." 

"Well," replied Tevis, "we shall have to deal 
with Chinamen and Mexicans that is, if we get 
into any trouble. ' ' 

"Dear me," said Sir Charles, his bronzed face 
taking on a worried look, "what kind of trouble 
are we likely to get into? You see I'm relying on 
you in this matter altogether. There's no one else 
to tell me anything. You assure me you're not in 
the plot and I 'm taking you at your word. ' ' 

"Thank you," said Tevis a little dryly, "but as 
to the kind of thing we're running up against, I 
can't tell precisely, because I have never been on 
a pearl poaching expedition before, and the 
Thrales are a little vague in their information. 


What has been done in that line, so far as I have 
ever heard, has been by Mexicans who have 
poached upon the pearl banks after their govern- 
ment had sold the concessions to Chinamen. Of 
course it's a long way from civilization, the place 
where we're going, and these fights don't get re- 
ported in the papers very often ; but I remember 
a lively one in which eleven Mexicans who had 
been poaching on the banks were killed by junk- 
men who stood up for their rights." 

Walden gazed silently through a port hole and 
smoked thoughtfully for a while. 

"But doesn't the Government afford the pearl 
fishers any protection f " he asked. ' i Diaz is a wise 
chap, they say. I should think he would do some- 
thing, don 't you know. ' ' 

"Even if he did, that wouldn't better matters 
any for us," replied Tevis. "For if the Thrales 
insist upon this poaching business, we'll be in 
trouble on that side as well." 

"Gad!" said the baronet, his big bovine eyes 
squinting with an apprehensive frown. "If that's 
the case we're going to get it both ways." 

"Yes, unless, as Thrale says, we go to work so 
quietly at night with our submarine lights that 
they don't catch us at it." 

"Oh, but a craft like this they don't ever see 
'em down this way is bound to attract attention. 
They'll watch every move we make, don't you 

"No doubt," replied Tevis. 


"And pot us like partridges from the most un- 
expected places." 

1 ' Very likely. The Gulf is patrolled by a cruiser 
sometimes two, so Thrale says and the pearl 
fishers all carry rifles and revolvers. Those junk 
men are generally pretty good fighters, though I 
don 't know what they could do against a crowd of 
Americans like us. We have two gun-racks, fully 
stocked, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. 
But, of course, we might be surprised either by a 
gunboat or a fleet of junks and taken at a disad- 
vantage. ' ' 

"In other words," summed up Wai den, with a 
dubious shake of the head and a tremor in his 
voice, "if we're not blown out of water by the 
Mexicans we'll have all our throats cut by the 
Chinamen. Pleasant prospect in either case ! ' ' 

' l Oh, I think if it came to a scrap with the junk- 
men," said Tevis confidently, "we could stand 
them off, and as for the cruiser we ought to be 
able to show her a clean pair of heels." 

"When you look at that miserable little bounder 
that Captain Thrale you wonder where he gets 
the pluck to go into this thing." The baronet 
knocked the ashes from his cigar. i i But of course 
it's that big, raw-boned Yankee wife of his she's 
put him up to it and she 's keeping up his nerve for 
him. Jove, it's a rotten situation. She'll get us 
into a mess, you can lay your life on it." He 
paused a moment and then added confidentially: 
"I wouldn't care so much, Tevis, but for one 


thing. It isn't known among our friends on either 
side, but under the circumstances, I don't mind 
telling you Miss Braisted and I are engaged to 
be married." 

Tevis' blue eyes turned away. To retain his 
smile after this definite confirmation of his fears 
was hard for one of his frank nature. Well, he 
had had his dream and it was ended. But the 
marvel remained : What could a young woman of 
her spirit and her ideals see in this man? Doubt- 
less it had all been arranged between the baronet 
and her father and she had consented to please a 
parent who would be proud to hear his daughter 
called Lady Walden. 

' ' Indeed ! ' ' said he at last, with an effort. ' ' Per- 
mit me to congratulate you." 

"Yes charming girl very amiable parent 
man of considerable means stands high among 
American financiers." 

Then he had not heard of Braisted 's failure! 
Tevis looked at the man curiously. What would 
he do if he knew ? Should he tell him 1 If he were 
a fortune-hunter, as he suspected, he might desist 
from carrying out his marital plans. 

But he had seen little of Walden and he owned 
to a distinct and it might be unfair prejudice 
toward him. For all he knew, the man might be a 
very decent fellow. He reflected that this must 
be so, else why should the gentle, cultured Hazel 
Braisted have considered him for a moment? It 
was possible that his heavy British way really con- 


cealed a nobler man than he had yet seen in him. 
Then again the Braisted fortune might be intact 
and not even threatened he had only Captain 
Thrale 's hazard as to that or rather Dmnble 's as 
translated by Thrale and the financier's situation 
might not have called for the sacrifice of the yacht 
for the insurance. 

"Well," said the baronet, as Tevis rose to leave 
the stateroom, "I suppose all we can do is to trust 
to luck and pray they mayn't pot us when we 
get down there. Hope we'll get shunted off by the 
authorities before we get there. Maybe we can 
contrive it somehow ourselves." 

"I'm with you," declared Tevis, thinking of 
Hazel's danger, "and I'll do what I can." 

He went below and into his own room, crushed 
by the revelation Sir Charles had just made to him 
and with the hopelessness of his great and consum- 
ing love. He sat down heavily upon his bunk and 
stared dejectedly out of the little round window 
upon the sunny, laughing sea. The bright flash- 
ing waves mocked his heart and rode over and 
drowned it in the blind depths below. 

After a while he rose, put on his working clothes 
and cap and hastened below to the dynamo-room. 
Going to the tool-box, he took out his wrench, pliers 
and brushes and quickly attacked a disabled dy- 
namo, fiercely twisting and threading the wires, 
screwing up the contacts, fighting like a Theseus 
against the dragons that assailed him, while out of 
the wild flashes from the arcing brushes, as he test- 


ed the dynamo, rose impossible visions, and out of 
the hum and burr of the machine came a des- 
pondent note as that of a voice that mocked his 



THE yacht lay-to in a little cove off the island of 
Espiritu Santo in the soft southern twilight, roll- 
ing gently on a summer sea, with the steady swish 
and thud of the breakers sounding abroad and the 
circling, squawking sea birds making a great to-do 
about the galley refuse. Miss Braisted and Sir 
Charles were under the after awning, looking 
ashore and talking in the desultory way which had 
often assured Tevis' prejudiced mind that, as an 
engaged pair, they were wholly unsuited to each 

He went over to where Flamel stood on the 
look out. 

As Tevis approached him, the first officer said: 

* 'Well, here we are ! Isn 't this a great place and 
a great evening! It's what you get in the tropics, 
though we're just a little too far north for a peep 
at the Southern Cross." 

"It's the kind of thing you read about," said 
Tevis. "When do we begin our diving? The 
Captain hasn't said anything about commencing 
right away." 

"Oh, we'll be all day to-morrow getting the 




things ready, ' ' replied Flamel. ' l It will be to-mor- 
row night, I guess, before we start to work. TKe 
island looks like a picture in the twilight, doesn't 
it? But wait till morning, and it will show up 
ugly enough. ' ' He pointed toward the land, which 
rose gently from the gleaming white sands of the 
beach up to the long saw-tooth range, softened 
with a purple glory that was not of earth. 

"It's as brown and dead and dry as a desert at 
this time of year," he went on. "Nothing but 
cactus and agaves. And it's the same on all the 
islands from Caralbo up to Angel de la Guarda. 
You'll hardly find a soul on them, except probably 
a few goat herders, though I believe there's a band 
of fierce natives on Tiburon the Seris. They're 
all pretty well rockbound, these islands; and 
there's no end of shoals and reefs and nasty cur- 
rents about them. A good many sea-going men 
call this group the Difficult Islands, though that's 
not the name on the map." 

"The Difficult Islands!" repeated Tevis. "That 
doesn 't sound very promising. ' ' 

"Oh, they'll be dead easy for us," said Flamel. 
"We've got all the latest charts and there's good 
surveys of everything." 

1 ' Will you tell me, ' ' asked Tevis curiously, ' i why 
we haven't made port at Mazatlan or La Paz, as 
the Captain said we would?" 

"You needn't think we're hunting up any 
ports," said Flamel, with a dry little laugh. "Ma- 
zatlan wasn't on our sailing schedule at all, nor 


La Paz, for that matter. I guess you can under- 
stand why." 

"But shouldn't we be coaling up before long?" 

* l Coal f Why, bless you, man, we 've got enough 
coal aboard this yacht for a liner. The bunkers 
are heaped high and it's stowed in sacks in every 
nook and cranny, except the after-hold where we're 
going to put our shell. Even the shaft alley is half 
full of coal and the lower cold-storage room, and 
the upper boiler room and the trunk room and the 
fish well. Besides we have a good sailing rig and 
can make five or six knots in a fair breeze without 
the engines, if we have to." 

"Why, I thought the Thetis " 

"She isn't the Thetis; she's the Searcher. Oh, 
I see you're not on. That's what we did off Cape 
Tosco bright and early in the morning. Perkins 
did the lettering, stern and bows he's a mighty 
neat man with the brush. None of the boats had 
any marks on them, nor the life buoys so there's 
no reason why we shouldn't run into port on a 
pinch, though it's taking chances." 

"But supposing she is hailed at sea, or boarded 
while she's lying to?" Tevis thought he had dis- 
cerned a large-sized flaw in the scheme. 

"We can run away from anything in these wa- 
ters. But even if they should happen to ca'tch us 
napping and get aboard we're only the Searcher, 
out on an expedition collecting marine flora and 
fauna for some American institution these greas- 
ers never heard of. We'll be bringing up enough 


curiosities with the shell to make that look right, 
and as for the log, that was all written up yester- 
day. I did it and I tell you it reads great. " 

"It might work," was the reluctant admission; 
"but there's one thing that's been overlooked. " 

"What's that?" 

"Me," said Tevis, his mind taking a tentative 
turn, "why shouldnt I 'blow' on you poachers and 
expose the whole plot f ' ' 

"Because," said Flamel, smiling, "you'll take 
too much interest in the game. ' ' 

There was a rattling forward and a splash in 
the stillness. 

"There goes the anchor!" said the first officer. 

Captain Thrale was going forward with the 
steward, to whom he was giving some orders. 

"Tell me," said Tevis to Flamel, looking at the 
Captain, "how is that little schooner master able 
to take hold and run this steamer?" 

"Aw, there's no mystery about running a boat 
like this, ' ' he laughed lightly. * ' You could do it 
anybody could do it nothing easier. All you've 
got to do is to have competent officers and hands, 
and for anybody like the old man, who's been to 
sea all his life to step from a sailing vessel to the 
Captain's place on a steam yacht is as easy as fall- 
ing off a yardarm. And with Mrs. Thrale and 
her cat to look out for him, I guess- he '11 get along 
all right." 

Flamel laughed again, his tanned face wrink- 
ling. Tevis' views of the gravity of the crime of 


collecting pearls in depths to which the crude na- 
tive divers and Chinese could never venture, began 
to fall in with those of the first officer. In his 
present state of mind he cared little what might 
be going forward, and even though he had at first 
considered himself as a pressed man and had acted 
accordingly, he no longer made any show of 

Next morning found him in blouse and overalls, 
down in the hold, working in his old nervously 
eager way, getting out the electric material. The 
men, most of whom were web-footed Swedes, la- 
bored with such zest and alacrity they were all 
on lays, as Tevis soon learned that they were 
ready with the helmets, tubes, wires and lamps by 
noon. The scheme of lighting was simple. Long 
coils of heavily insulated cable were to be stretched 
from the yacht's generator into the boats from the 
ends of improvised yards. Each boat was sup- 
plied with a tall mast at the foot of which was a 
reel. The wire worked through a pulley at the 
top of the mast and then down, through the reel, 
to the lamp, which was fastened to the top of the 
diver's helmet, just like a miner's light. 

In each boat, beside the reel, there was placed an 
air machine and two wire baskets in which the 
pearls were to be collected. By the old-fashioned 
method a signal rope was used, but Tevis had ar- 
ranged to dispense with this, and to use the light- 
ing wire instead. 

There was a trial of the lighting, in which the 


divers clumped over the deck in their leaded boots, 
the powerful lights gleaming from the crests of 
their great helmets, though the sun was shining 

Miss Braisted watched this dress rehearsal in- 
tently, her large eyes lighting up with curious 
interest. The big-snouted helmets appealed strong- 
ly to her sense of the grotesque and she laughed 
merrily whenever one of the divers shook his head 
or turned suddenly. She kovered near them, and 
seemed to get as much entertainment out of their 
doings as she would from a vaudeville act. She 
was dressed in a smart suit of white duck, and 
wore the little white cap which sat so becomingly 
upon her black, wavy hair, with its rebellious fluffs 
and wisps which the wind brushed lightly against 
her soft round cheek. Tevis was glad of her pres- 
ence, but it brought him no peace. Several times 
while he was connecting up or coiling the wires, 
he had to pause from the sheer attraction of her 
charming face and of her divinely rounded figure, 
topped by the heaven of her hair, and to steal 
glances at her. But there was always a sigh in his 
heart as he turned away. 

When she walked along the deck, the animated 
smile and the bending grace by which, unlike Sir 
Charles, she made obvious the fact that she did not 
hold herself airily aloof from the human creatures 
that surrounded her, made her very popular with 
the crew. Her buoyancy of manner and her mod- 
est and gentle way, despite her constrained posi- 


tion as a prisoner on her own yacht, had, aided 
by her natural beauty, made easy conquest of the 
hearts of all aboard. It was clear that in interest- 
ing herself in the preparations for the pearl-gath- 
ering she was making the best of the situation. 

As for Sir Charles, he sat gloomily in his wicker 
chair under the after-awning, smoking or reading 
a magazine and did not follow Hazel as she went 
about the deck from boat to boat watching the 

Once Tevis saw her looking landward, but it was 
not with a longing gaze, for as Flamel had fore- 
shown, the island as seen by daylight was barren 
and inhospitable enough. There were only a few 
strips of verdure in sight from the mouth of the 
cove, and these were merely scrubby-looking 
patches of chaparral in the folds of the brown and 
barren hillsides on which here and there a spind- 
ling agave or a forbidding cactus thrust up its 
spikes to the fiercely burning sun. 

"Is it any wonder, " asked Tevis, pausing beside 
her, when the deck rehearsal was over, ' i that they 
call these the Difficult Islands 1 ' ' 

"No, indeed," she replied. "If they're all like 
this they're difficult enough. It's a name that tells 
the whole story. And yet this little cove, with its 
white beach and water birds, looks very peaceful. ' ' 

"Peaceful, but not inviting," he suggested. 

"No; distinctly not inviting," she said with a 
smile. "But see those black rocks sticking their 
heads above water out there, ' ' she waved her hand 


in the direction of a long, high point to the south- 
ward, which projected itself brokenly into the sea, 
its dark rock masses splashed by flying spray. 
" Don't they remind you of Stevenson's * Merry 
Men!' " 

Before he could reply she started up with a cry. 

"What's that?" 

For around the point, well out of reach of the 
rocks a queer sail and a high dark hull showed 
with the suddenness of a vitascope picture. The 
craft was coming on under a light outside breeze. 

What a strange boat ! ' ' she cried. ' ' I never saw 
anything like it before. It's something like the 
pictures of the old galleons." 

The new-comer was, indeed, an odd craft. She 
was low amidships and high in bow and stern, and 
she carried on her single slanting mast a great 
lug-sail, fluted against dozens of small yards. 

"It's a Chinese junk," exclaimed Tevis. "I've 
seen them sailed by shrimp-catchers in the Bay of 
San Francisco. There's another. Wonder what 
they're up to here!" 



CAPTAIN THEALE was standing on the forward 
deck, his glass to his eyes, gazing at the junks, 
and Hazel went over to him while he looked nar- 
rowly and nervously at each boat. By the time a 
third junk had appeared Mrs. Thrale came up and 
joined the group on deck, her black hawk-eyes 
sharply alert. 

* ' Goodness me ! ' ' she exclaimed, taking the glass 
from the Captain's hand and staring through it at 
the strange craft. " Ain't they filthy looking 
things? That deck hasn't been scrubbed for ten 
years. And talk about tempting Providence ! Why, 
them boats are about as sea-worthy as so many 
chopping-bowls. ' ' 

<f l'm afraid," began the Captain, anxiously, 
' ' that they '11 be up to mischief. ' ' 

"Them pig-tails, them mice-eating, laundry- 
men?" snorted Mrs. Thrale contemptuously. 
"Gracious sakes! I wouldn't be afraid of them. 
They ain 't got the spirit of guinea pigs. Want to 
look at 'em, Miss Braisted?" she asked, turning 
to Hazel and handing her the glass. 




The girl peered through the binoculars and ex- 
claimed : 

"What a lot of Chinamen! The boats are alive 
with them." 

1 ' And vermin, ' ' added Mrs. Thrale. ' ' Wouldn 't 
Port have a time with the rats aboard that boat? 
Well, of course, they're out for pearls. I saw a 
stack of shell on the deck of that nearest one and 
she 's got some small boats in tow. I believe I can 
smell her from here." 

The lug-sail slanted under the stiff breeze and 
the first junk tacked a little nearer. 

"It's the On Yick Company, that's what it is," 
said the Captain reflectively. "They've got Es- 
piritu Santo and three or four islands above. Wish 
we hadn't dropped anchor here. See that fellow 
come on? He's too blamed curious to suit me." 

"My land!" cried Mrs. Thrale. "A scurvy lot 
of Chinks like that ain't going to scare me. I 
could shoo 'em off like so many hens. I'd like to 
know! There! They're gone off on the other 
tack. They ain't going to bother a big boat like 

"Where do you suppose they hail from, Cap- 
tain?" asked Tevis. 

"From some camp down the island," he replied, 
breathing freer as he saw the junks sail by. * ' On 
Yick works a lot of men and takes f out stacks of 
shell. He used to have a six-year concession from 
Magdalena Bay north. Now he's got the islands. 
He takes turtle, too, and whale and seal and aba- 



lones anything he can get his hooks onto. But 
he's a hull year doing most nothing in the pearl 
business. Just wait till we get to work. It won't 
be close in shore, where the water's waist deep, 
and the bank's fished out. But all the same," he 
added, "I wish them highbinders hadn't showed 
up the first day. Looks like bad luck." 

The afternoon was very hot. Sir Charles 
stretched in his steamer-chair under the awning, 
smoked steadily and stared dumbly seaward over 
the blue gulf, on which the long swells lazily rose 
and fell. He seemed to be in the sulks and was 
heavily lethargic. 

Dinner, or as Mrs. Thrale would have it, ' ' sup- 
per," was served at four bells "an ungodly 
hour, ' ' according to Sir Charles, who, on reaching 
the table, ordered the Jap to fetch him a bottle of 
port. He and the Captain had generally drank a 
glass or 1 two of claret or some other light wine at 
dinner, by the- tacit permission of Mrs. Thrale, 
who, however, always signalled sharply with her 
eyes when the Captain fingered the bottle, and 
scowled when he ventured to pour out a third 
glass. But this time the two convivial ones not 
only finished the first bottle of port, but were pre- 
paring to attack another. 

"You were speaking of black pearls," said 
Hazel to Tevis, as he sat next to her at the table, 
' ' are they all that are found here ! ' ' 

"Oh, no," said he. "There are plenty of white 


ones, too, according to the reports. But the black 
ones are almost as valuable as the white. " 

"Is it true that pearls can be made artificially f " 
she asked. "I've read about their putting shot 
into the shells of live oysters and that large gems 
would form around them." 

"Oh, that's right enough," said the Captain, 
who under the loosening agency of the wine was 
unusually free of tongue. ' ' Chinamen do that. I'll 
bet On Yick does it. Chinamen even take little 
images of Buddha and put 'em into the live oyster 
and the pearl forms all around 'em." 

"Wonderful!" said Hazel. 

"Yes; but they ain't much good," said Thrale. 
"Expersh can tell 'em every time." 

He reached for the bottle again and was about 
to pour out another glass of wine when Mrs. 
Thrale gave a warning sniff, and her forehead 
drew together in its fierce bars, while her black 
eyes gleamed with something more than mere dis- 
approval. The neck of the bottle went to the glass, 
just a bit unsteadily. 


Thrale started up and a great blotch of port 
reddened the cloth, and yet he was about to pour 
out his glass at all hazards, when his wife cawed 
forth again: 

"Mercy, Captain Thrale, you've spoiled this 
table cover! Set that bottle right down. I'd like 
to know ! Haven 't you had more 'n enough for one 
night? I'm saying nothing about them that makes 


a business of wine-drinking " she glanced toward 
the baronet "for that's about all they can do 
anyhow; but you've got a lot of work before you 
to-night, Captain, and you've got to keep your 
head. I think we've had about enough tippling for 
this trip, anyway. Wine- is a mocker and strong 
drink is raging, but I'm going to take good care 
it don't rage aboard this ship any more." 

"Why, my good Mrs. Thrale," said Walden, 
"you don't mean you're going to forbid wine at 

"You needn't 'good Mrs. Thrale' me," said the 
head of the board, frowning, as she went around 
the table and sprinkled salt on the splotched cloth. 
"I'm not only going to forbid the horrible stuff 
at table, but I'm going to do more than that. 
You'll see what I'll do. I'm not going to have any 
more drunkenness aboard this ship. I saw 'Mac- 
Laren, the chief engineer, looking like he'd been 1 
sampling* some of them bottles. That kind of thing 
has got to stop." 

Sir Charles said no more. While Hazel and 
Tevis talked of the pearls she with that well-bred 
air which passes over a "scene" so easily, and Ke 
with recurrent feelings of disgust for the other 
three, and particularly for Sir Charles the bar- 
onet lapsed into the sulks and drank defiantly until 
the second bottle was emptied. But Captain 
Thrale did not touch his glass again. 

After* dinner Tevis stood amidships with the 
Captain, watching the sun as it hung low over the 


pink and purple sea. They were both eager for 
the approach of night and the first dip of the 
divers. Tevis felt that it was strange that, from 
actual rebellion toward the enterprise, he had 
changed his attitude, so as now to be ready to 
fling himself into it with reckless abandon ; but it 
was not merely the novelty of the adventure and 
his professional pride in the outcome of the engi- 
neering plans that compelled him. He wanted to 
plunge into the work and forget himself utterly. 
And so the sun could not sink quickly enough for 
him nor the shades of evening fall too fast. 

Tevis noted a group of pantrymen, among whom 
were Yokio and the cook, hoisting some loaded 
baskets by a line from the lazarette. He wondered 
a little at this, as it was no part of the prepara- 
tions for the night. But soon Mrs. Thrale came 
forward from the cabin, followed by her cat, and 
gave some orders to the pantrymen, who carried 
the heavy baskets from the hatchway to the rail, 
straining under their burdens. 

"What's she doing now?" the Captain mut- 
tered. The men lifted the contents of the baskets 
above the rail and threw them into the sea, like 
so many sticks or stones, heaving them in one by 
one or two by two as they chanced to pick them 
up. * l Well, I '11 be keelhauled if she am 't throwing 
all our liquor bottles overboard!" 

He started forward in a strained way, and Tevis 
followed him. With her own hands Mrs. Thrale 
was helping to jettison the contents of the wine 


closet. She was heaving the bottles overboard with 
scornful flings and a fierce delight. 

"Why, Emily!" the Captain protested, with a 
mournful shake of his head. "What in the world 
are you doing?" 

She made a determined downward sweep with 
her hand and a big flask struck the water with a 
spiteful splash. 

"Doing what I ought to done in the first place," 
she declared. "The mocker ain't going to mock 
me, I can tell you. I'm going to clean out that 
hull wine closet before I'm an hour older." 

The Captain made a despairing gesture, and 
said under his breath, "Good Lord! What a 
woman ! ' ' 

Glass vessels of all sizes from pint Chianti flasks 
to claret demijohns were now splashing into the 
water at a merry rate. Some of the men pitched 
bottles from one side of the yacht and some from 
the other, while two kept hoisting up the baskets 
through the hatchway. Mrs. Thrale worked harder 
than any of the men, flinging in gallon demijohns 
with grim delight. She was in the thick of the 
destruction when Sir Charles sauntered unsteadily 
along deck, smoking a cigar. He paused with a 
puzzled look for a moment and then said: 

"Chucking over old soldiers, eh? Gad, I didn't 
think there were so many aboard." He laughed, 
and, going over to the side, looked at one of the 
baskets. "Great Scott! What does this mean? 
Hold on there, you fellow ! " he roared catching the 


uplifted arm of the nearest man. "That's good 
Chablis you're throwing overboard. Let's see the 
label. ' Fifty- three. ' Why, that wine 's worth three 
guineas a quart, and you're tossing it away by the 
dozen. ' ' 

"Yes," cried Mrs. Thrale, scornfully, passing 
him with an armful of bottles, ' ' and if it was worth 
a hundred guineas, it would go just the same. 5 ' 
She threw a bottle with a vicious fling and it 
chugged into the water like a stone, as she cried, 
"I'd like to know!" 

"My God, woman, do you realize what you've 
got there? It's Moselle!" He grasped from her 
hand the bottle she was about to throw into the 
sea. 'Coblenz, 1848.' From the Prince's own 

Mrs. Thrale glared at the man who had dared to 
prevent her righteous action, the bar sinister show- 
ing fiercely on her forehead. 

"Look here, Mister Lord!" she shrieked! "You 
leave them bottles be! Don't you dare touch one 
of 'em ! I don't know anything about your Prince's 
cellar. I don't care where any of this stuff comes 
from, but I know where it's going to. Stand off 
and don't you dare interfere ! I'd like to know !" 
She seized the bottle from his hand and it followed 
the others. 

"But you've no idea what this wine is worth!" 
groaned Walden. "You couldn't buy it for less 
than twenty dollars the quart. It's sparkling 
Mo " 


"Go 'way!" she fulminated. "Go 'way and 
mind your own affairs. I ain't buying any wine; 
I'm getting rid of the beastly stuff. There's a 
thousand bottles that's got to go. It will all be 
cleaned out. I want that wine closet to stow shell 

"Gad!" cried Walden. He looked about from 
one destroyer to the other, and, with amazing ex- 
pertness, told off the work of destruction, with 
despairing groans : 

' ' Amatillado ! Lafitte ! Chartreuse ! Yquem 
rare old Yquem, bottled at the chateau. By joveJ 
This is enough to make a man sick. Chianti vee- 
chio ! Epernay ! My good woman, you're not go- 
ing to throw away all that champagne!" 

Mrs. Thrale made no reply. She merely set her 
teeth and worked hard, with a red face and fierce 

Walden became desperate as the champagne be- 
gan to splash into the sea, and with his desperation 
came recklessness. Tevis and Flamel watched him 
amusedly as he gazed at the tragic work. He 
clenched his hands, he ground his big teeth and the 
veins in his forehead bulged. Port, the white cat, 
knowing no partisanship in this acute situation, 
came along the deck and sidling up to the baronet, 
rubbed his glossy fur against the infuriated man's 
leg, arching his back and purring in a friendly 

"Ah," said Walden, reaching down excitedly 
and lifting up the cat. ' 1 1 know what will stop this 


beastly business. I say, Mrs. Thrale, listen to me 
a moment!" 

The sea hawk paused, a bottle of champagne in 
each hand and a questioning look in her face. 
4 'Well, I'd like to know!" she said simply. 
* ' You see this cat ?" he said firmly. ' ' You value 
him very highly, don't you, even if his name is 
Port, which you toss overboard with disdain? Now 
I wish to warn you very plainly that if any more 
of those bottles are thrown into the sea, your cat 
goes too." He glanced at her angrily, and then 
held the cat over the rail. 

" Angels and ministers of grace defend us!" 
breathed Flamel to Tevis, looking toward Mrs. 
Thrale, "What's coming now! Get on to that 
visage ! Talk about your dark, lowering thunder 
storms ! ' ' 

And, indeed, the sea hawk's face was stormy. I ! 
was something more it was cyclonic. Her black 
eyes snapped like electric sparks. 

1 1 Merciful goodness ! gracious sakes alive ! ' ' she 
screeched, standing with her shoulders curved over 
and one hand clutching a champagne bottle raised 
threateningly. "Well, I'd like to know! Do you 
expect I'm going to stand that kind of talk from 
you? Not for one little minute not if you had all 
the Houses of Parliament and the King of your 
little islands at your back." She took an angry 
stride forward while Walden turned hesitatingly, 
holding the cat over the deck. "Drop that cat!" 


she squawled. "Do you hear, Mr. Lord? DROP 

THAT CAT ! ' ' 

"Yes, Mrs. Thrale," he said in milder tones. 
"I'll do it if you'll stop throwing away the wine." 

"I'll throw away all the wine I please," she 
screamed. "But you let that cat alone or I'll have 
you clapped into irons. Do youliear what I say? 
Irons! I'd like to know!" 

"I hear you, madame, but " 

She looked at him with her hard, glittering, com- 
pelling eyes a long steady, staring look. He an- 
swered the gaze, one cold gray eye behind its 
shielding monocle, the other squinted a little in the 
low searching sunlight which he faced as he faced 
the woman. 

"It's a fight of optics," whispered Flamel to 
Tevis. ' ' Ten to one on the black ! ' ' 

The hard-faced, dominating Yankee woman and 
the round- featured, defiant Briton stood staring at 
each other amid perfect silence. Two or three 
times Walden's lips moved as if he were about to 
speak, and once, without withdrawing his gaze, he 
made a motion as if to toss the cat overboard. 
Meantime Port writhed and struggled to be free 
and clawed at his captor's beard, but Walden held 
him firmly until Mrs. Thrale made an hypnotic 
downward movement with her hand, when he 
looked at her weakly, shrugged his shoulders a lit- 
tle and let go of the cat, which as it scrambled to 
the deck, gave him an ugly scratch on the back 
of his hand. 


"I'd like to know!" was all the victorious 
woman said. 

Walden, awed and humbled, turned away, while 
Mrs. Thrale resumed her lightening of the cellar. 
When the last basket was brought up he walked 
aft, shaking his head and muttering low curses 
along the deck. 

"I knew the hawk eyes would win/' commented 
Flamel. * ' Poor chap ! He hated to see that cham- 
pagne go overboard and the other stuff. ' ' 

"I'm glad it's gone," said Tevis simply and 
with an air of relief. 

"You needn't throw that in," said Mrs. Thrale 
quietly to Yokio, setting aside a dozen quart bot- 
tles that bore plain hand- written labels. "That's 
my elderberry wine. I brought it aboard from the 
schooner. I didn't mean you should bring it up 
here. I ain't going to have it thrown away not 
much. ' ' 

"I'm glad of it," said Miss Braisted earnestly 
when Tevis laughingly told her what Mrs. Thrale 

had done. "Sir Charles is inclined " She broke 

off reservedly and smoothed back a stray wisp of 
her rebellious hair. i ' When do you begin the pearl- 
fishing, Mr. Tevis?" 

1 1 At eight bells, ' ' said he. ' ' It will be quite dark 
then, and we can work unmolested. ' ' 

"Do you think," she asked with a worried little 
look, "that there's any danger? Those Chinamen 
are they likely to return and be troublesome I ' ' 


"Oh, don't bother about them," said he with an 
air of unconcern, though they had been upon his 
mind. Three junkloads of desperate hatchetmen 
might not afford a very pleasant diversion, if they 
were bent on driving poachers away from grounds 
for which they had paid good money to exploit. 
Still he would not have minded a brush with them 
had she not been aboard. "You see," he added 
quietly, "our work will be at night, when they're 
asleep in their camps." 

Up to the time the boats were to be lowered he 
remained with Hazel on the after-deck. It was 
very sweet being alone with 'her and on such a 
friendly footing, even though their talk for the 
time was all of the pearl fishing of which she evi- 
dently thought he had an endless supply of in- 
formation, and though he had bitter reminders 
now and again that there was a great barrier be- 
tween them. She seemed to be eager for the begin- 
ning of the work. Only once did she refer to other 
matters, and that was when, with a sigh, she spoke 
of her father, expressing the hope that he was safe 
and well, and that he was not greatly troubled 
about her fate. These were her only anxieties, so 
far as they appeared on the surface. She seemed 
no longer to chafe unduly because of the restraints 
of her position. Tevis was vain enough to believe 
that he had been some comfort to her, for on the 
cruise down the coast they had discovered many 
common tastes and particularly in books and 
music. Indeed, he felt that she found his society 


aboard ship at least more congenial than that 
of a man who could enthuse over horses and re- 
gattas and little else. 

At eight bells the six divers appeared on deck 
clad in their grotesque suits. Hazel was vastly 
pleased with them. 

"I could look at them all day," said she to Tevis. 
"They make me think of those fascinating mon- 
sters in <Der Freischutz.' They have eyes like 
giant June bugs." 

"Yes, and they'll have antennae enough, too," 
said he, "when the ropes and wires are connected 
with their suits. I hope the trailing lines won't be 
too heavy for them. ' ' 

The men took their places in the boats. Tevis 
' i connected up ' ' and tested the Nehrsts again, cov- 
ering each light with a dark cloth, as he did so, and 
switching off the current immediately. The con- 
cealed flashes showed the powerful lamps to be 
working at their highest candle-power, and it only 
remained for him and Jim Reynolds, his assistant, 
to see that a sufficient current was steadily gener- 
ated. This might keep him down in the engine- 
room all night, and out of sight of the boats, so 
that his share in the beginning of the work and 
until he could safely leave the lighting in the hands 
of Reynolds would be tame compared with the pic- 
turesque duties of the boatmen and divers. Until 
the signal was given for the turning on of the 
divers' lights he remained on deck, his nerves 
a-tingle with the start of the boats as they stole 


off in the darkness, sounding with the lead lines as 
they went. 

1 ' Such a picture!' 7 Hazel said to Sir Charles. 
"And it seems as though I had a share in the ad- 
venture. ' ' 

"You should have a share/' he replied. "It's 
your yacht. But these pirates you won't get a 
brass farthing out of them." 

It was a picture, as Hazel had remarked, and a 
strangely captivating one. It was something, too, 
to see Mrs. Thrale, as she leaned from the bridge 
and took in with eager, searching eyes, the first 
oar-strokes in the venture which meant so much to 

"the fever of the hour seemed to communicate 
itself to Sir Charles, who, strange to say, became 
most actively interested in the final preparations, 
though he had hardly glanced at the apparatus 
before. Tevis saw him and Captain Thrale stand- 
ing a little apart from the rest, talking earnestly, 
the Englishman occasionally waving his hand sea- 
ward. Walden watched the departure of the boats 
as though the hazard of the adventure had really 
gotten into his blood at last, and Tevis jealously 
saw him motioning out something to Hazel who 
stood with her elbows on the rail looking at the 
departing craft, trailing their wires behind them 
from their masts as they spread out from the ships 
like the tentacles of an octopus. 

It was not until the last boat had disappeared 
in the darkness that Mrs. Thrale left the deck, and 


went down into the engine-room with Tevis to 
where Jim Reynolds stood] at the switchboard 
ready for the signal to turn on the lights. As they 
were using a three-core wire the signal would be 
rung in from each boat. The bells now began to 
whirr and Tevis switched on light after light. In 
five minutes after the last light was connected up 
no more signals were sounded. He knew that the 
divers were all down and the lights were playing 
on the sea-bottom. Mrs. Thrale left the engine- 
room when the last signal was rung in. She has- 
tened up to see if any of the lights were showing 
above the water. It was for this same reason that 
Tevis soon afterward turned the generators over 
to Jim Reynolds and anxiously climbed to the 

i 'They don't none of 'em show exactly," said 
Mrs. Thrale, when he rejoined her. "But you can 
almost make 'em out here and there the nearest 
ones anyway." 

Out of the blankness of the night, down upon 
the water-level, irregular mist-like patches of lu- 
minosity, strangely uncertain to the visual sense, 
wavered, darkened and straggled forth again in 
elusive glimmers. 

Once or twice Tevis heard a sound as of a basket 
striking the bottom of a boat, and then a swash as 
of its being thrown into the water again. 

"They're getting up shell all right," said Mrs. 
Thrale in the low, pleased tone of perfect satisfac- 
tion. "They'll make a big haul to-night. Well, 


I'm pretty tired. Guess I'll go to bed and get up 
early in the morning when they come in, and see 
how much they got. ' ' 

She left the deck, and a half-hour later when 
Tevis was about to return to the engine-room r he 
heard the splash of oars forward of the bow and 
the call of the Captain : 

"How you making out?" 

"Bully!" came back a voice from the water. 
' ' Taking 'em in as fast as the baskets '11 work. ' ' 

Tevis was kept busy below deck all the rest of 
the night, for the circuit was overloaded and he 
had to watch his generators closely. Then, too, the 
brushes behaved badly, sparking so much at times 
that the three bells which meant "more juice" 
rang in again and again. Not until early morning, 
when the Captain called down the tube to turn off 
the current, did he go on deck again. 

The gray of dawn was warming to pale pink 
and the sea lay lead-toned in a liquid hush. Ai. 
the boats had been hoisted and swabbed and the 
men had gone below. The deck had been hosed 
down and of signs of the night's poaching the 
yacht was as innocent as an old roue after his 
Turkish bath. 

Mrs. Thrale, looking as though she had not 
combed her hair for the morning, was nagging the 
Captain as he leaned against the bridge rail, her 
forehead furrows showing darkly. 

"You say you didn't get a shell?" Tevis heard 
her cry harshly. "Well, I'd like to know! What 


you trying to fool me for? Where's the shell? 
Show it to me. I want to see it." 

"I tell you, Emily/' protested the Captain, with 
a furtive, hunted look on his sun-burnt face, "we 
didn't get any shell not a one. If you don't be- 
lieve me ask Flamel?" 

"Yes; that's right," said Flamel. "The lights 
worked all right, but the divers didn't get any 
oysters. But we'll have better luck next time. If 
this place doesn't pan out there's lots of others." 

"But we counted on this cove," cried Mrs. 
Thrale tenaciously. 1 1 Jose said it was a sure place 
for 'em. I can't understand it. Where is Jose? 
I'm going to find out what kind of a dago liar he 
is, anyway." 

She swept down the stairway, with a lowering 

If Tevis had confessed it, he was as keenly dis- 
appointed as Mrs. Thrale herself and fully as 
mystified. He stepped up to the Captain just as 
Sir Charles appeared, smoking a cigar, his face 
wearing a large smile of animal satisfaction. 

"How's this, Captain?" began Tevis. "Have 
we had our night's work for nothing?" 

"Sh-h!" he cautioned, putting a finger to his 
lips and watching his wife out of sight. 

Sir Charles laughed, leaned against the house 
and laughed again. 

"Sh-h!" warned the Captain, looking about 
more anxiously than before. 

That the easy-going aristocrat who had never 


done a day's work in his life should so mock their 
hard, nerve-straining efforts made Tevis angry. 
He turned upon him in his rage. 

"It's all very well and in excellent taste, no 
(Joubt, for you to laugh," he cried, "but " 

"Hold on!" breathed the Captain, in a wheezy 
whisper. "We ain't worked all night for noth- 

"No; don't worry about that, old chap," 
drawled Sir Charles. "We've got 'em all that is 
nearly all thanks to your lights." 

"Got what?" demanded Tevis. 

"The bottles, of course," said the baronet in 
satisfied tones. "Over eight hundred out of the 
thousand are safe in the hold." 

"No in the shaft alley," corrected the Captain. 
"She'll never go down there. But for God's sake, 
Mr. Tevis, don't breathe a word of it to her. The 
crew are sworn to secrecy. They'll never tell. Sir 
Charles is paying 'em a good bonus for their 
night's work, and each man is to have a couple 
of bottles of champagne." 

"Claret!" It was Sir Charles' turn to correct. 

"Well," said Tevis, laughing in spite of him- 
self, though he would rather the wine had stayed 
at the bottom, "I hope it will be up anchor and 
away from here; for as long as there's a bottle 
left in this cove I suppose the men will be search- 
ing for it instead of the pearl Shells. ' ' 

"Yes; we're going around the point this after- 
noon/' said the Captain. "Of course the labels are 


all soaked off, but it's marvelous how Sir Charles 
has managed to sort out the different brands by 
the shape and color of the bottles and so on. He 
worked all night at it." 

"Did he?" Tevis was not able to keep back a 
bit of sarcasm: "Then he can do a little manual 
labor on a pinch." 

Sir Charles was not offended by the sally. 

"Oh yes," he replied, good-naturedly, "that 
kind of labor." 

"Here she comes, " undertoned the Captain, with 
quick apprehension, as the dark figure of Mrs. 
Thrale came toward them. ' ' Mind you now, Tevis, 
not a word not a word I" 



BUT Mrs. Thrale was full of a great and gleam- 
ing satisfaction on the following morning when 
the results of the second night's work showed 
themselves in heaped-up piles of "shell," taken 
from Half-Moon Bay just above the place which 
the men had come to know as Bottle Cove. The 
pearl oysters had all been carried ashore to be 
rotted on the beach. Tevis rowed over in the gig 
with Hazel and the Captain 's wife soon after sun- 
rise when the sea lay like quicksilver and the kelp 
swayed gently on the smooth swells rolling in- 
shore. He had had no sleep since the afternoon of 
Mie previous day, but he was too much interested 
to consider that. There would be time for rest 

They watched the men piling the great oysters 
on the dry sand above the mark of the highest tide. 

"It's a pity they ain't good to eat," said Mrs. 
Thrale picking up a large shell that had been 
broken in handling. " I 'm hankering for some real 
oysters." She handed the shell to Tevis. "See if 
there's a pearl in it," she said. 

He opened the silver-tipped mollusk with his 



knife and searched in the mantle and muscular tis- 
sue for a drop of the precious nacre. He scraped 
out the oyster and exposed the beautiful, irides- 
cent interior of the shell, with wave on wave of 
pink, opal and silver gray. 

"No pearl," he said, "but something quite as 

"What is that?" asked Hazel, looking at the 
mollusk with curious eyes. 

"Mother-of-pearl," he said, handing her the 

"Yes; it's lovely," said she, "and more wonder- 
ful than the pearl itself, but being so common, we 
don't prize it. There's a multitude of shells in 
these piles, but I wonder how many pearls." 

"Maybe not one in a thousand," he replied. 

Mrs. Thrale passed a little way down the beach 
to speak to the Captain. 

"It makes you think of people, doesn't it?" said 
the girl, poking at the edge of the pile with the toe 
of her low tan shoe. 

"Do you mean there's only one pearl of a person 
in a thousand?" he asked. "It certainly applies 
to girls." He looked at her frankly. 

"Oh, don't limit it to my sex," she replied, 

"Of course you had no idea whom I had in mind 
when I said that?" His burning gaze made her a 
little uncomfortable. 

"Not the slightest," she answered, though with 
a self-conscious turn of the head. 


" You didn't think I referred to you?" he asked 

"Of course not." 

"Well, I did." 

"Oh, Mr. Tevis," she said, flushing a little and 
not a bit displeased, "what a ponderous compli- 
ment ! How shall I return it 1 There are the sands 
on the beach," she laughed, "perhaps I could work 
something out of them." 

"I might have known you wouldn't take me 
seriously," he said, looking at her with mock rue- 
fulness. t i Don 't you want to walk down the beach 
a way? The tide is low and the sand is smooth 
and hard. I feel all cramped up from having been 
aboard ship so long." 

"So do I, and it's glorious walking here along 
shore." Impulsively she started down the sands 
by the white rim of the influent foam, and he fol- 
lowed her, reveling in this chance to be alone with 
her, with no voice but her's and the sea's in his 
ears. He enjoyed to its fullest their familiar, 
friendly footing. 

She walked quickly, whisking on ahead for the 
greater part of the first quarter-mile. In her trim, 
crisp shirtwaist, short gray skirt and cowboy hat, 
she was very fetching, and there was all the poetry 
of girlhood in her walk. They were both so full 
of the freedom of the beach that they almost ran 
along until suddenly she stopped before a huge 
mollusk lying on a flat rock. 

"What a strange creature!" she exclaimed. 


"See, it has breathing holes around the edge of 
its shell/' 

"It Van abalone," he explained. "It has only 
a single 1 shell. The under side of the animal sticks 
to ihe rock. It clings so tightly, in fact, that per- 
sons, trying to pry it up have been known to have 
ibeir fingers caught in its vise and have been 
drowned by the rising tide. ' ' 

He had taken out his pocket knife and was about 
to insert it between the shell and the rock. 

" No ; don 't do that, ' ' she said. ' ' You might get 
caught. ' ' She started on again, her feet twinkling 
along the sands under the short skirt, her arms 
moving freely from her well-turned shoulders. 

"Don't you feel a long way from civilization t" 
he asked, looking at the sweet, tanned face, fringed 
with the dark hair with which the wind was making 

"Yes," she said, with a laugh and a flash of 
white teeth; "but for the moment I don't mind it. 
I 'd rather be right here on this beach in this wild 
Half-Moon Bay, just now than anywhere else 
here where people don't count and Nature is every- 

' ' Yes, ' ' he agreed ; ' ' Nature is everything here. ' ' 
He looked at her wistfully. Nature was moving 
potently in him at that moment. Ah, how he would 
have joyed to fold that form of hers in his arms 
and tell her what was in his heart ! 

They were now among the rocks, picking their 
way over and between them. He sprang upon a 


rough rock table and extended his hand down to 
her where she stood irresolute. 

She put her little ungloved hand in his large, 
strong one and he reveled in the soft, warm feel 
of it for a rapturous moment while he helped her 
up to him. Standing side by side upon the rock, 
they looked out upon the sea as it lay calm and blue 
before them, and his hand still felt the glow of 
that blessed, but fleeting contact. 

"I don't thinL we ought to go any further," she 
said as she turned and looked doubtfully along the 
craggy shore where the waves swashed with a 
white outcrash, sending forth glittering showers of 

"Oh, just up to that point there," he pleaded. 
"We've been out such a little while." He sprang 
lightly from the rock "This way," he directed. 
"Jump right down here into this little patch of 

She leaped lightly down and he went on ahead, 
fearing that she might protest against following 
him much farther. 

"Wait a minute!" she cried, her face reddening 
a little. "I've lost my shoe." 

"Where is it?" he asked, springing back to her. 
He looked about, reached down and picked up the" 
shoe which was half-covered by sand. It was a 
pretty little thing, that shoe, with a high instep 
and quite a sensible heel as girl's heels go. His 
hand hugged it fondly as he shook the sand from 
it, wiped it on his sleeve and handed it to her. 


She slipped it on easily. 

"Let me tie it," he said bending over her as she 
sat upon the stone. 

She put out her foot while he dropped upon his 
knees in the sand and knotted the silk lace the 
neatest tie he could make. 

"You don't want to go any farther 1" he said. 
"Well, this is a good place to rest." 

"No; let's go back to the beach. These rocks 
are so forbidding they seem anything but friend- 
ly." She rose and, passing around the large rock 
upon which they had stood, dropped lightly upon 
the sand where she sat looking off at the circling 

He came and sat beside her. 

"Isn't it delightful!" she cried rhapsodically. 
1 ' Such a beautiful beach ! I should like to take a 
dip in that surf. I haven't had a good swim since 
we left Catalina. I thought the water a little cold 
there, but Sir Charles didn't mind it." 

"Tell me," he said with sudden daring intensi- 
ty, "what are you marrying that man for?" 

She flushed quickly, gave a quick toss of the 
head and looked at him challengingly. 

"How do you know I am marrying him who 
told you?" 

"He did." He looked straight at her, and her 
eyes lost a bit of the bravado that was in them. 

"Did he?" She bit her lip in plain vexation. 
"Why it was not to be announced until New 


"To be perfectly fair," said Tevis, "I don't 
think he would have told me but for for circum- 
stances. But answer me," he insisted, "with a 
touch of his old audacity "why are you marrying 

"You are taking a great deal for granted, Mr. 
Tevis, ' ' she said, with the air of pique still in her 
tone and in her serious brown eyes. "After all, 
how long have you known me that you should 
ask " 

"How long have I known you?" he repeated 
raptly. "Ages. Don't you know that there is no 
such thing as time? We are creatures of the uni- 
verse, you and I, and what may be a year on this 
planet may be centuries on another. ' ' 

"One world at a time," she said with a little 
laugh. "I prefer to arrange my almanac by the 
revolutions of this one. You see, I am quite 

"No, you're not," he declared ecstatically. 
"You're perfectly divine!" 

She gave a frightened little glance at him and 
saw his love lying nakedly in his eyes. 

"Oh, Mr. Tevis!" she cried, springing sudden- 
ly to her feet, "you mustn't " 

"Don't go away!" he said pleadingly and with 
wistful tenderness as she started toward the boat'. 
' ' Not just yet ! ' ' He rose quickly and stood beside 
her. "Stay and listen to me. I'm going to tell 
you " ' 


"Don't!" she cried in a dismayed tone. 

"Then you know what I am going to say and 
you forbid me in advance ? " he said ruefully. ' ' Is 
that fair?" 

"Yes," she declared stoutly. "It's fair under 
the circumstances. Eemember what we were talk- 
ing about just now my engagement. ' ' She looked 
at him with well-affected hauteur that seemed to 
Tevis to place miles between them. "I don't see 

how you could But of course you don't know 

how impossible it is how " 

"But I haven't said anything you could except 
to yet, ' ' he reminded her. 

' ' No, ' ' she said, relenting a little. ' ' You haven 't 
said it, and you mustn't even think it." 

He looked at her with dubious, puzzled brow as 
they faced each other there in silence, and the long 
pause was filled in by the voice of the sea. 

"And you're always going to hold me at arm's 
length like this, and discipline me for my very 
thoughts? That's pretty hard a man is forbid- 
den even to think." There was a cynical note in 
his voice. "Come and sit down on the sand again. 
I'll be tame that is, for the present. I'll eat out 
of your hand." 

She smiled faintly and sat down with unexpected 
obedience, though a little farther off than he could 
have wished. 

"That's good," he said, returning her smile. 
"Now I want you to talk to tell me about your- 


self and how you came to consider that that mer- 
cenary Walden." 

' ' But he isn 't mercenary, ' ' she protested. ' ' He 
doesn't think of father's money. The Walden 
estates are among the largest in England. "If 
there is any advantage so far as wealth is con- 
cerned, it's probably on his side, as I fear father's 
affairs have not been going right of late. I don't 
know why I am telling you these things, Mr. Tevis 
they are wholly material and sound awfully sor- 
did but you have been very good to me very 
friendly and kind. You are the only one I can 
look to. I have been counting on you in whatever 
might happen to me in this perilous adventure." 

1 'And you can count on me," he said fervidly. 
"You can count on me to the end of the world. 
Don't I owe it to you for saving my life that time 
in the creek, and besides, though you forbid my 
uttering it, you know how I love you! There, I 
have said it, Hazel." 

"But you Oh, I'm so sorry!" she cried, in a 
sympathetic tone. "And you you mustn't you 
mustn't say any more," she added appealingly. "I 
am promised to him. Father is bent upon the mar- 
riage and his will is iron. Nothing can stand 
against it." 

"Nothing but love," he said confidently. 

"No; not even that," she insisted. "We can be 
ever and ever so good friends, but nothing more." 

She looked at him with helpless, appealing gaze, 
and there was that in her eyes that made him feel 


she had not listened unmoved to his words of love, 
though she had forbidden them utterance. 

"Well, I can't despair of you not even after all 
you have said." He was standing before her as 
he spoke, looking intently at the sweet face as it 
rested upon the dainty hand whose possession he 
could not so lightly forego. Still gazing at her, 
his eye glanced past the curve of her shoulder and 
at once gave a curious, startled look; for over at 
the edge of the point of rocks which ran down to 
the water he caught sight of something like an 
inverted bowl and under it a loose blouse fluttering 
in the breeze. At the same instant the figure 
turned and down the bleached, blue back of it 
waved a jet-black pigtail. The apparition van- 
ished behind the rocks and Tevis sat staring. 

1 ' What is it f" she cried. 

"Nothing," he replied reassuringly. "That is 
it may have been some animal. Wait here a 
moment and I'll go and see." He hastened along 
the beach to the point of rocks. He reflected that 
if the pigtail belonged to one of the On Yick men 
it might be that the junks were in some cove above 
them where their divers were at work, and it was 
likely that the Mongolian was spying upon the 
yacht and her men. But when he came to the 
point and scrambled around it, just out of reach of 
the surf, he saw nothing but another long stretch 
of sand, walled in by rocky scarps or rounded 
dunes on which stood lonely clumps of cacti. Of 
any vestige of human or other life there was none. 


He looked sharply along the beach for the prints 
of sandals, but not a track was visible, and no- 
where among the rocks could he find a trace of the 
man in the blue blouse. 

He puzzled for a moment over the swift and 
complete disappearance of the figure. After all, 
it might have been a mere simulacrum, attributa- 
ble to his loss of sleep; and yet he went back to 
Hazel with a feeling of disquiet. 

"Did you see your animal!" she asked. 

"No," he replied. "It must have whisked in 
among the rocks. He stood beside her for a mo- 
ment, glancing uneasily at the place where the 
vision had appeared. Isn 't it time we were getting 
back to Mrs. Thrale and her shells 1" He started 
up hastily and added in a light tone to conceal his 
anxiety. "Wouldn't you like to race back? Such 
a jvalker as you must be a good runner. I'll give 
you a start as far as that big abalone we saw down 
there and we '11 race back to the gig. Come, run ! 
You like to run, I know." 

"Very well, I'll race with you, but I don't want 
more than half that much start." 

She tripped down the beach a little way. 

* ' One two three go ! " he cried, and she was 
off with whisking skirts, and tossing hair, run- 
ning like a fleet filly, her trim, lithe figure flying 
over the sand. He had not thought much of the 
race as a race, his only idea being to get her away 
from the place as quickly and unsuspiciously as 
possible, but had he counted on an easy victory 


in outrunning her, he would have been disappoint- 
ed. For she was free of limb as an Arab, and her 
flying feet seemed hardly to touch the ground. He 
buckled down to the race, and might not have won 
it, but for the fact that he ran his very best, being 
determined not to be outstripped in the dash. For 
while a man may permit a girl to win at chess or 
even at tennis, he must not let her distance him in 
a footrace. As it was, however, his victory was 
slim enough, for he touched the nose of the 
deserted gig only a yard or two ahead of her. 

Laughing and panting, she sat upon the tilted 
gunwale of the boat, her face flushed and her hair 
in sweet disarray. 

" You see," she cried, "I didn't need to be given 
much handicap. " Her fingers patted her truant 
side hair. 

"I could say something about your running/' 
he said, sitting down beside her on the edge of the 
boat, i 'but you made light of my pearl compliment, 
so I shan't venture one on your fleetness." 

"Did I make light of it?" she said in a soft, 
apologetic tone. "I didn't mean to; but I cion't 
like compliments they're such empty things. See 
what a lot of shells they've stacked up over there ! 
The Thrales are thrifty pirates, aren't they!" 

The flush of the race was leaving her face now, 
but there still remained here and there under the 
clear skin of her temples those azure arborescences 
of the veins which told of her good blood. Every- 
thing about her was at once so vigorous and so 


exquisite and yet, after all, the air of the metropo- 
lis clung to her and he must still regard her as 
something exotic; and of course, she was not for 
him such divine luck as that was beyond a man 
of his deserts. 

" About the bathing?" he asked. "Shall you 
be taking that dip you spoke of?" 

For reply she shook her head and went toward 
the shell pile to meet Mrs. Thrale, who was hover- 
ing about her treasures. Within'half an hour they 
rowed back to the yacht. 

All the boats were coming back, the m'en sodden 
and sleepy after their long night's work. Beach- 
ing the deck of the yacht, Tevis went immediately 
to his room and to bed; but it was hours before 
sleep came, and then it was but fitful, so thorough- 
ly had his whole animate being been wakened by 
what had happened on the beach. 

"I say, my dear," said Sir Charles when he 
found his fiancee in the little book-lined alcove off 
the saloon, "you seem to be wonderfully interested 
these days." 

"Interested?" She looked up from her book. 
"No, this is an awfully stupid story one of your 
dull English novels in which sporting lords and 
and ladies are taken so seriously." 

"Well, why aren't they to be taken seriously?" 
he asked in his heavy accents. "But I wasn't 
thinking of books. What I refer to is your being 
constantly in company with that electrician." 


"Mr. Tevis?" She laughed. "Am I supposed 
to reply to that absurdity ?" 

"You are,'' he said heavily. 

"Very well, I can dispose of it quickly enough. 
It isn't so." 

"But you were ashore with him just now, and I 
witnessed through the glass from the deck of this 
yacht the undignified spectacle of my fiancee the 
future Lady Walden running on the beach with a 
common electrician." 

"I was running on the beach," fired the girl 
with rising color; "not with a common electrician, 
however, but with an uncommon American gentle- 
man, who happens to be an electrical engineer, 
graduated from one of the best colleges in the 

"Oh, in your queer nation I fancy almost any- 
body passes for a gentleman," said Walden, with a 
toss of his great round head; "but that isn't the 
point. The point is" he extended a large red 
forefinger "the point is that you are not to be 
in his company so much. I object to it. I have a 
right to object." 

"I don't deny your right," she said wearily 
closing the book and putting it back on the shelf. 
1 ' I am, as you have just reminded me, your fiancee 
the future Lady Walden. If I have been un- 
dignified I regret it. But I don't mind telling you 
I have just enjoyed a happy hour." 

"Then you like that young bounder you love 


" Enough !" she cried warningly, her color 
mounting. "I hate scenes and you know it. I'll 
not wrangle with you. I am, ' ' she said despairing- 
ly, her voice, dying almost to a whisper, "the fu- 
ture Lady Walden." 

"That's right," he said, smiling so that he 
showed his large, white front teeth. "We won't 
quarrel." And he went away. 

She reached forth her hand for another book, 
took it down and laid it in her lap. But she did 
not open it, only sat there quietly, chin in hand. 
Soon her shoulders quivered a little, and, turning, 
she bent her head down against the pillowed back 
of the chair, her bosom heaving while she sobbed 
low. "Of course," she admitted weakly, "he has 
a right to object. " 

The afternoon was hot, Tevis' little cabin was 
stuffy and his pillow was moist under his head 
when he awoke, but he felt fresh and fit for an- 
other night's work. As the generators were now 
in good condition and his assistant understood the 
signals perfectly, he was determined that nothing 
should keep him away from the picturesque end of 
the operations any longer. So after dinner, which 
was really breakfast to him, he made it clear to 
the Captain that it was necessary for him to go out 
in the boats that night and gain a better idea of 
the needs of the lighting service. He said nothing 
to Thrale about the bloused and bowl-hatted figure 
he had seen on the island, for his elusive coolie 


now seemed impossible to him. His imagination, 
he thought, had doubtless been tricked by one of 
those mystic mirage effects for which the Gulf 
shores were famous. 

When night closed in and the divers had donned 
their suits, he went out in the first boat to leave 
the yacht. In this boat were Jose, who wore the 
helmet, and four Swedes, all very handy men, 
among them being a white-haired young giant 
named Pederson, who worked the air machine. The 
night was still, and from the cliffs came from time 
to time that peculiar hum or subdued roar which is 
so like to the sound of telegraph wires in the wind. 
These lonely notes, intermitting between the sobs 
of the surf, made doleful music, which the Swedes 
referred to conclusivly as the songs of drowned 

"Ay no gif a damn for deesen Half -Moon Bay," 
said Pederson when upon the pulling in of the oars 
the stillness was broken of a sudden by the ghostly 
moans from the cliffs. "Ay bin tell Captain Drale 
Ay dank ve don't haf no luck here, and yoost re- 
member dot." 

' ' Oh, Pederson, ' ' protested Tevis, for it seemed 
to him unfortunate that superstition should be- 
gin to work its sinister influence among the men 
so early in the enterprise. "That's probably 
nothing but the echo from the sea." 

"Ay know dose echoen vot you call," persisted 
Pederson, "but dose ain't bin no echoen dose bin 
something. Ay bin hear in vun fjord in Norskland 


dose noisen. Dot fjord bin full of mans vot is dead 
an' maken more dead. An' so in deesen Half- 
Moon, Ay dank so, too." 

The other Swedes nodded grave assent. But 
upon Jose, who was a Mexican and had cruised all 
up and down the coast, these utterances of the 
doleful Swedes, made no impress. The men had 
helped Jose off with his helmet that he might enjoy 
one more cigarette before his descent into the 
depths, and he sat heavily in his rubber garb, 
smoking like a furnace. When the air machine 
had been pumped up and the cable had been un- 
coiled a little from the reel, Pederson fastened on 
the helmet again, and said with a sigh : 

"Ay leekady hopen he dond bin meetin' some 
dead mans down below to-night, anyhow. Aber he 
do, Ay dank he vill bin dead, too, yoost leekady 
oder mans. ' ' 

It was a lugubrious send-off for a man about to 
go down into fifteen fathoms of water, but Jose 
went over with a splash, the big round eyes of the 
helmet giving forth a great glassy stare in the 
starlight just as they disappeared. 

Tevis signalled for the switching on of the cur- 
rent and of a sudden the sea beneath them flashed 
into a wonderfully lucent green, streaming away 
on all sides with a pale and still paler gray. The 
boat swam in a great luminous, ragged patch of 
water, through which the bottom of the sea, though 
many feet below, showed plainly. They had the 
sensation of being in an air-boat rather than in a 


water-craft, so transparent was the element in 
which they floated. From time to time strange 
little circles of light detached themselves from the 
central radiance and mounted swiftly to the sur- 
face. These were bubbles of air from the outlet 
valve of the helmet. 

Down on the bottom, under the light that shone 
from his head, Jose walked about as though he 
were ashore, his dark body showing weirdly 
through shifting beams of light and his arms and 
legs straggling forth grotesquely. The boat in the 
middle of its perspicuous little pool, followed the 
slowly moving diver, stern foremost, thus keeping 
him better in view than if he had been under the 

One of the side lines swished violently, sending 
forth long gleams of light as it cut through the 

"Haul avay !" called Pederson, and up came the 
wire basket, piled high with shells, coruscating 
phosphorescently as it dripped over the side. The 
shells clattered into the boat and the basket shot 
twinkling down. 

This for an hour or two and then Tevis jerked 
the wire as a signal for Jose to come up, which he 
did with astonishing celerity the body lines being 
yanked in by one of the men. No sooner was his 
helmet off than a cigarette was pressed between 
his lips and lighted by the obliging Pederson who 
had been trained to this valuable service. Then 
the men helped him off with the rest of the clumsy 


suit, for Tevis had decided to give the diver a 
breathing spell, by taking a turn below. They 
pulled the clumsy folds of rubber over him. 

"Bemember, senor, your feet must keep to the 
bottom, ' ' cautioned Jose, as the helmet was raised 
for adjustment. ' * The rocks they slip and you are 
light down there so light as the cork. ' ' 

It requires no little determination to make one's 
first descent into the sea in a diving dress, even 
though it be in the bright sunshine, but in the thick 
dark of a moonless night, one must have the ad- 
venture well at heart, or one will back out like a 
crab. Tevis had in mind, however, the cheering 
light that would flash from his globe as soon as the 
water closed over him; so that when through his 
rubber wrappage he felt the quick chill of the 
sea, he was not terrified. 

It seemed a long time, however, before the inky 
element all around and above him flashed forth in 
the blinding light of the hundred-candle-power 
lamp. His feet, which had been dangling inanely 
as if in the air, now touched softly upon the 

Standing still a moment, he looked around 
through his great plate-glass eyes. He was in a 
cavern of light, walled vaguely by a gray liquid 
that seemed ready to fall in and engulf him, and 
this cavern was floored by great rocks, covered by 
strange crusts and silent masses of seaweed. He 
felt a queer pressure on his temples, his breath 
was difficult, his ears sang, and now and then he 


was startled by the strange mutterings of the out- 
let valve ; but he was filled with a new elation the 
sense of a wonderful novelty. An immense object, 
like a giant beetle, with straddling legs, moved 
past, coming so near his eyes, that he started back, 
nearly losing his balance, as his feet, though 
weighted with lead, were strangely light and un- 
governable, tending all the time to point upward. 
The thing he had seen was a big green turtle, that 
swam slowly away in the darkness. 

He seized the hook and attacked a scraggly ob- 
ject sticking to a rock. It came away readily 
enough, and looking at the detached thing in the 
strange soft light, he judged that it was of the kind 
of treasure he was seeking. 

There were plenty of the mollusks on the rocks ; 
many of them were loose and others adhered tight- 
ly. Tevis worked slowly and cautiously, finally 
conquering his feet so that he could move them 
readily, but it was at least a half hour before his 
basket was filled. He pulled the rope and the mass 
of shells flung heavenward. Then he gave the 
signal to be hoisted and was up by the side of the 
boat in the befuddling darkness, feeling the friend- 
ly hands of the Swedes helping him in, all adrip 
and full of the exultance of life. For he had added 
to his experiences a strangely uncommon one, and 
he was uncommonly proud of it. 

The helmet was taken off and into his lungs 
rushed the soft, hale air of the southern sea. For 
the rest of the night he helped at the lines or sat 


still and drank in the weird beauty of the unquiet 
sea and the star-stilled night; the low, dark waves, 
the black outline of the range that topped the 
island and, over to seaward, the quiet hull of the 
yacht. He thought of Hazel, asleep in her cabin, 
and he wished that she might dream of the two of 
them sitting on the rock by the seaside. 

A low dirge-like moan came floating over the 
waves from the cliff. 

6 ' Yoost you hear dot ! ' ' groaned Pederson. ' i Ay 
dank ve don't bin aben some luck in deesen place. 
Dose dead mans talken too much allady time. Dee- 
sen place no good only for dead mans. Dot's vot 
Ay dank. " 

The diving ceased at midnight, as Mrs. Thrale 
would permit no work on Sunday, and the men 
went back to the yacht and to their berths. Tevis 
stretched himself out in bed, with an electrical 
lamp at his head, and read for an hour from a book 
Hazel had lent him. It was " Middlemareh, " her 
favorite novel; but though he tried to share her 
appreciation of it, he found himself dozing, and 
soon fell soundly asleep, the book in his hand. 



DAY by dreamy day, in that soft-aired summer 
time, while the sea lay calm and blue about them 
and the low island breakers chanted their endless 
circle of song; day by day, while the sun stabbed 
down upon the awnings or sank into the purple 
glory of the evening sea, the white yacht lay-to in 
the little bay and swung to her anchor-chain in the 
shifting tides that crept slowly up over the white 
beach, or left it lying wet and dark in long, wide 
reaches over which the sea birds squawked and 
shrilled in their flighty circuits; and night after 
night the boats went out and the divers went down 
and came up, and the shell piles grew upon the 

For, despite the gloomy foreshadowings of the 
Swedes, they had prodigious success on the banks 
in Half-Moon Bay, and seemed in a fair way to 
fulfill the dreams of the Thrales. Test washes 
made from time to time disclosed the fact that the 
virgin levels they had been working upon were un- 
usually productive of rich gems. As a result of 
the tests, Mrs. Thrale had a score of large and 
beautiful pearls, of perfect shape, wrapped in a 



piece of tissue paper which Tevis saw her take out 
and unfold now and again with eyes full of satis- 

"You know they say/' he heard her tell Hazel 
while he was repairing an electrolier in the saloon, 
1 i that pearls are often worth more than diamonds. 
I've seen some no bigger than these two here, that 
brought twenty thousand apiece. ' ' 

"Those large pearls are certainly very beauti- 
ful/' said Hazel. "A necklace made of them 
would be priceless ! ' ' 

Mrs. Thrale wrapped her jewels up carefully in 
the tissue paper, and put them in a little buckskin 
bag. "Wait till I get this full," said she, with a 
smile of cupidity. "Then I guess we won't have 
to work any more." 

"Do you think people are any happier if they 
don't work?" asked Hazel. 

"You ought to know," replied Mrs. Thrale, with 
a meaning look. 

i t Yes, ' ' sighed the girl. ' ' I have led an idle life, 
though I still mean to do something. The trouble 
is there isn't much that girls in my position can 
do. But -a man can work. See how busy Mr. Tevis 

"Mr. Tevis doesn't hurt himself by hard labor 
on this trip," said he, laughing. "Everything is 
running smoothly now." As he looked at her he 
was conscious of an effort to keep his fondness for 
her out of his eyes. * 

"Yes; but you are responsible for something," 


said she, as Mrs. Thrale took her treasures to her 
room. "I'd give anything for a little responsi- 

' ' Maybe Mrs. Thrale would let you take care of 
her pearls. ' ' He smiled after the retreating figure 
with the buckskin bag. "A lady purser would be 
just the thing on a steamer like this/ 1 

"Yes; but Mrs. Thrale is purser herself," said 
she. "Is that the anchor coming up? It sounds 
like it. Well, I'm glad to be moving even if it's, 
only around to the next cove." 

"Yes, it's the anchor," he replied. "We've 
fished them all out of here. I heard the Captain 
say we'd be moving along before night." 

"I'm glad to get away from Half -Moon Bay," 
she said after a moment. "I mean the sailors' 
omens their superstitious fears of something ter- 
rible impending here. They have made me uncom- 
fortable. And then out at the lower point your 
anxiety to get me back to the boats before some- 
thing happened. ' ' 

"Surely you couldn't have guessed there was 
anything unusual in my mind. ' ' He looked at her 

"Oh, no," she laughed. "Didn't you observe 
how readily I fell in with your idea of the race? 
I was racing away from your bugaboo, whatever 
it was." 

"So you saw through my scheme and yet said 
nothing?" he remarked, smiling. "Well, it's hard 


to get ahead of a girl of to-day, even in a foot-race. 
But did you see anything on the beach?" 

"Yes; I saw the careful way you were conceal- 
ing something from me. What was it ? ' ' 

"I really couldn't say what it was myself," he 
said. "It was nothing to be much afraid of, I 
fancy. ' ' 

"More duplicity," she laughed. "Well, I'm 
used to it in men. ' ' 

"And not in women?" 

"I didn't mention women," she said lightly. 
1 ' They, of course, come in for some of it. But one 
can't read them as one can men. I think I can tell 
when a man is fibbing. They're all so unconscious- 
ly frank with women. ' ' 

"I suppose that, from a woman's fine stand- 
point, men are bungling creatures, ' ' said he. i ' But 
can you read what a man thinks of you how 
deeply he cares for you ! ' ' 

"Oh, when it comes to such matters," she said 
with an effort at gayness which was less a failure 
than his own, "I confess I am in the dark. I've 
never been schooled in affairs of the heart. ' ' 

"But you must have seen that every man aboard 
this yacht is in love with you." 

' t How ridiculous ! ' ' said she, laughing. 

"It would be ridiculous if they were not." 

"You don't mean that," she said with fine gravi- 
ty though evidently not much displeased. 

"I do, too," he insisted, in further proof of 


man 's capacity for bungling. l ' How can they help 

Her blush deepened. 

"Oh, here's Port!" she said as the white cat 
entered the room, as if to afford her the needed 
diversion. She picked up the fuzzy animal and close to her cheek. ' ' I thought it was the 
strangest sight I ever saw on shipboard Mrs. 
Thrale sitting in her old rocking chair, the one she 
brought from the schooner, with this cat in her 
lap and her feet on a braided rug, rocking back and 
forth and singing ' Shall We Gather at the 
River r " 

"She's unique, isn't she?" said Tevis. He 
twisted the last bulb into the electrolier and went 
on deck, followed by the girl. 

"Why," she cried, "we're under sail! Isn't 
the yacht pretty, with her canvas all set?" 

"She is that," said Captain Thrale, coming 
around to their side of the house. "Seems like I 
was aboard the old schooner again. She takes the 
wind pretty fair, and it saves coal. ' ' 

1 1 What about the shells we 're leaving behind 1 ' ' 
asked Tevis, his phantom Mongol looming up 
again. ' l Are they safe there, Captain f ' ' 

"Oh, yes ; safe enough," was the confident reply, 
"though Mrs. Thrale hated to leave 'em, even for 
so short a time. You see, " he said in his most con- 
fidential tone, "if they wash out like the tests 
we've made, there's easily thirty thousand dollars' 
worth of pearls there." 


Tevis' quick mental arithmetic gave him his 
share as fifteen hundred dollars, more money than 
he had had at one time since his father's failure. 

"Yes," said he, taking a sudden interest in the 
leaving behind of the pearls, "it's no wonder Mrs. 
Thrale is anxious. Are they being guarded?" 

"Oh, yes," said the Captain. "I left two well- 
armed men back there on guard, Ole Ek and Lars 
Larsen. They're good safe men." 

"Well, I don't know," remarked Tevis. "I don't 
like that plan of leaving treasure behind there for 
the first beach-combers that come along to make 
off with." 

"But they weren't rotted enough," declared 
Thrale. ' ' And we '11 be back to Half-Moon before 
long. They 're safe there with Ole and Lars. ' ' 

Tevis walked aft with Hazel who had been 
standing aside. As they looked astern after the 
yacht had rounded the first point they could see 
upon the cliff the rough outline of a forehead, nose 
and chin, which the sailors called "Grandma's 

"It looks like Mrs. Thrale 's profile," said Hazel 
quietly to Tevis. "See that nose and that brow." 

"There is a resemblance," affirmed Tevis, "but 
the artist hasn't flattered her." 

They sailed slowly along within easy hailing 
distance of the arid island. About three miles to 
the north of Grandma's Face they rounded a low 
breezy headland, and there, in an open bay, to 
their great surprise, lay the junks, with their small 


boats flocking about them, full of Chinese. The 
yacht ran close in before those aboard her were 
aware of the presence of the junk or the Chinamen 
could note the coming of the vessel. Gongs were 
booming out from the boats, while a long succes- 
sion of vocal minor notes rang out over the water, 
sounding like an incantation. 

' < That 's for sharks, ' ' said the Captain. * ' Guess 
they've got no diving suits, for there comes a fel- 
low up out of the water, with none on." 

"And there's another!" cried Flamel. "It's 
all old-fashioned diving. Don't see a single helmet 
among 'em." 

* ' Then they can 't be On Yick men ! ' ' declared the 
Captain of a sudden. "I thought it was kind of 
funny, for they told me On Yick began the season 
away up to Angel de la Guarda, and worked down 
here in the fall. That's what I was counting on 
when I struck Espiritu. And I thought On Yick 
had better boats, too." 

"See 'em scramble in!" piped Mrs. Thrale. 
' ' They 're pulling back to the junks. ' ' She put her 
glass to her eyes. "They're scared of us. I see 
one of 'em running around with a gun the ugly 

"I'll tell you what they are," cried the Captain. 
"They're poachers! That's what they are. I 
might a-known it before." 

"Poachers!" repeated Mrs. Thrale. "Well, I 
should think if they could work in the daytime, we 
could, too. You always was too cautious, Jim." 


"How do you know but we'll work by dayligh't' 
after a while, when we get up north V retorted 
Thrale. * * We 're down here now, right in the track 
of the La Paz boats. We can't " 

"They're getting up sail," broke in Mrs. Thrale. 
"Land sakes ! What funny sailors ! See 'em pull- 
ing on that sheet and all falling over each other." 

Up went the great lug-sail of the nearest junk, 
which tacked away to leeward of the yacht, and 
then pointed her high bow straight out to sea. The 
others quickly followed. 

"Wonder where they're going!" said Mrs. 
Thrale, her hawk-eyes staring after them. "We 
scared 'em out all right. ' ' 

* l They probably take us for a Mexican cruiser. ' ' 
Thrale smiled. He was the kind of man who, being 
easily frightened himself, most appreciates cre- 
ating panic in others. "This looks like a mighty 
good place for pearls. Not very sheltered, but 
clear of rocks. Guess here 's where we anchor, and 
if they come back, we'll run up the Mexican flag 
and scare the barnacles off 'em." 

"Aw!" drawled Sir Charles, "another of those 
nasty, boresome waits; no doubt it will be as bad 
as Half-Moon Bay; and there's nobody aboard that 
plays bridge. Gad, if Dumble and Braisted and 
Phelps were only here ! By Jove ! This does beat 
the Dutch for a stupid cruise!" 

He and Hazel engaged in a lifeless colloquy in 
their steamer chairs for a half hour, and then he 
went below, leaving her alone on deck. 


When he appeared at the dinner table a few 
liours later, he was very red-f acd and as loquacious 
as a village spinster. Thrale, who had been going 
in and out of the baronet's stateroom, was also 
given to light remarks on everything going. Some 
of Sir Charles ' stories at dessert time were rather 
broad, and Tevis had to keep up a running fire of 
talk on his side to drown out his reckless speech. 
This angered Walden, and they came to words, in 
the midst of which Hazel left the table. To smooth 
matters over, Thrale began to tell a story on his 
own account a pointless tale at the close of which 
he laughed loudly. But Mrs. Thrale did not laugh. 
She sat with her sharp elbows on the cloth and her 
hands under her boney cheeks, looking closely at 
her husband across the board. It was a strange 
scrutiny. At the end of another of his inane yarns, 
at which he laughed more immoderately than be- 
fore, she observed in tones as hard as a xylo- 
phone 's : 

* ' Captain Thrale, if I hadn't with my own hands 
thrown the last bottle of that devil 's stuff into the 
sea, I'd say you'd been drinking. As for the lord, 
I can't tell it on him. But what makes you so 
silly! I s'pose it's because you're so glad them 
Chinamen got out of this cove, without bothering 
us. I wish, Jim, you wouldn't go to pieces over 

After dinner Tevis saw Hazel sitting aft, look- 
ing moodily toward the dull shore, and up to the 
central peaks, purpled by the sinking sun. He 


knew that she was dejected because of the scene at 
table, and he wanted to go over to her and cheer 
her, but he felt the delicacy of her position and 
desisted for a while. When finally, he made bold 
to approach her, she fled before him into the saloon 
and to her own room. 

He could cheerfully have gone to Sir Charles 
and choked him into insensibility for having so 
wounded her susceptible sense, but he bided his 
time. Beside, he argued bitterly, who should 
espouse the cause of a woman against her affianced 

"And yet the brute has no right !" he kept say- 
ing over and over. "It's only the man who pro- 
tects her from insult who really loves her that 
can claim that right." 

This self-persuasion was easy. What was not 
easy was to put aside the barrier which separated 
him from Hazel Braisted, and that barrier was 
Walden. It was he who made his love a mocking 
futility. Yet he knew that he would go on loving 
her to the end of the chapter. 

The first night's work in the new cove proved 
very successful. Indeed, the number of shells 
gathered between twilight and dawn was greater 
than that of any other night's haul they had made. 
The fresh shells were taken aboard for the present. 

"I guess you can stand the smell of 'em for a 
while," he said to Sir Charles. "It's no worse 
than some of that cheese Braisted left aboard." 

"That Eoquefort? Oh, but that's different, 


don 't you know, ' ' said Walden. ' i It 's prime stuff. 
But I suppose when we go to sea with you old 
pirates we have to bear almost anything." 

He said this with a jocular air. Ever since the 
affair of the bottles there had been a sort of com- 
raderie between him and Thrale. Tevis suspected 
that they were enjoying many a glass togther be- 
hind locked doors. 

They went on gathering shells and stowing them 
aboard, with the intention of taking them back to 
their old treasure pile as soon as the bank should 
be stripped by the divers. Once or twice they saw 
smoke on the seaward horizon, evidently from 
passing steamers, but they did not come near the 

One clear bright afternoon about a fortnight 
after they began work in the Chinamen's cove, 
Thrale, who was constantly poking about the sky- 
line with his glass, made out three strange sails to 
the southeast, and a little later he declared that 
they were the junks coming back. For an hour or 
so all on board were on the alert, but the junks 
veered off to the westward and then the long head- 
land to the south obscured them. All that after- 
noon the Captain kept nervously pointing his glass 
to the south and from time to time he shook his 
fuzzy head. He kept talking excitedly to Mrs. 
Thrale, who replied after her own peculiar fashion. 

In the morning after the last boat had come in 
with its load, Tevis saw the Captain talking 


earnestly with Flamel, and soon afterward the 
first officer came over to him and said: 

"I'm going down with Pederson and Svenson 
to the shell pile. Old man's getting anxious about 
it. Guess his wife has been prodding him up, she's 
been so worried herself. Want to go along, Tevis 1 
Going to take the launch. You'd come in handy if 
her sparker got out of whack." 

"Count me in," said Tevis, glad of a change 
from the night-work below decks, and not minding 
the loss of a forenoon's sleep. He and Flamel 
made a hasty breakfast of coffee and rolls, and 
then stowed some rifles aboard the launch, together 
with a water cask; but the Swedes ate a hearty 
meal and spent an unconscionably long time at it, 
so that the last stroke of eight bells was sounding 
as Tevis turned the crank over in the trimmest 
little launch he had ever smelled gasoline in. They 
took the Captain's gig in tow. 

Hazel was on deck to wave them a good-bye. 

"A dandy girl that's what she is!" remarked 
Flamel to Tevis as he returned the salute. * t Here, 
Tevis, have a weed. They're pretty dry, but they 
smoke well." 

1 1 Thank you. ' ' Tevis took a cigar and lighted it 
from the match he offered. "And now maybe you 
don't mind telling me what we're going down to 
Half-Moon Bay for, and why we have brought 
along the arsenal ! ' ' 

"It's the old woman's idea," he replied. "She's 
awfully cautious, you know, and she's got it into 


her nut that there may have been trouble down 
there for Ole and Lars. It's the junks you know. 
I think myself it was a fool trick to leave that shell 
behind. Ole and Lars couldn't make much of a 
stand against a lot of hatchetmen like that." 

"Ay dank maybe is so," said Pederson, shaking 
his Viking head, while his white brows closed over 
his blue eyes. "Ay bin hear dem echoen what you 
call, Master Tevis. Anoder dimes Ay bin hear 
dem. Ay dank it vas someting it was someting. ' ' 

The other Swede moved his chin affirmatively. 

"Look here, Pederson, Svenson, don't cross the 
dead line till you come to it. Here, smoke up and 
be cheerful." Flamel handed them each a cigar 
which they took and lighted solemnly. ' ' And don't 
throw the matches into the boat. When there's 
gasoline aboard you can't be too careful." 

The launch flew over the low waves, tipped with 
lucent gleams from the morning sun. They round- 
ed point after point, running close inshore to get 
the good of the return eddies, for the tide was 
against them. 

"There you are," said Flamel, as they swung 
out of the last eddy and steered seaward to clear 
a kelp patch. i l There 's Grandma 's Face. We 're 
making it in less than an hour, and will be back by 
ten and turn in for our morning snooze. Gee ! I'm 
sleepy enough!" He yawned prodigiously, and 
then half -closed his eyes. But in another moment 
he was alive and subtly alert, with every sense 
astir. For just as the launch turned the little cape 


below Grandma's Face, the outermost northern 
point above Half -Moon Bay, Pederson called out 
from the bow : 

6 ' Lookadare lookady Cheenamans ! All going 
by der shell-pile. Ay yoost bin dinken ve see um 
and now dey dare all right." 

"Easy there !" cried Flamel softly. "Put on 
your muffler, Tevis ! Boys, don't make any noise ! 
Eun her in behind that high rock. We'll make a 
sneak on 'em if we can. Straight in behind the 





As THE swell was light they were able to ap- 
proach the high rock islet to which Flamel pointed, 
but the strong tide threatened to carry them out 
into view of the Chinamen again. So they turned 
and ran the launch back behind the Face and up 
to the first cove north a tiny affair, well sheltered 
and secure. They anchored and went ashore in 
the gig with their rifles, leaving Swenson in charge 
of the boat. A strip of gravel beach led back to 
the point below the Face, and there they skirted 
the shore, their rifles in their hands, to a place 
where they could spy upon the invaders. Flamel 
peered past the rocky wall : 

"They 're at it, all right/' said he. " The high- 
binders! They've washed out nearly all of 'em. 
It's a lot of sport to stand here and see your share 
of 'thirty thousand dollars' worth of pearls gobbled 
up that way, ain't it?" 

Tevis looked over his shoulder and along the 
curve of the beach to the nook in the rocks where 
the pearl shells had been cached. Thirty or more 
repulsive-looking Mongols were washing out the 



shells in pools of sea water which stood in holes 
they had dug in the sand near the lower end of the 
beach. They were working rapidly and had evi- 
dently taken out nearly all of the pearls. Some of 
the shells were being carried in sacks along the 
beach towards their boats. Half a mile away, 
down, near the southern end of the cove, the three 
junks bobbed on the gentle waves. 

' ' Yes, it is pleasant, ' ' said Tevis, thinking of his 
fifteen hundred dollars. ' l The pirates ! ' ' 

1 ' What 's become of Ole and Lars ! ' ' said Flamel. 
"Wonder if they hiked out when the Chinks 

"No !" Pederson was shaking his head and mak- 
ing doleful sounds in his throat. "Dey bin dead 
dey vas dead mans now for dot. Ole Ek vas dead 
and Lars Larsen vas dead. Dey yoost bin dead all 

"I shouldn't wonder but what he's right, 
Tevis." Flamel was staring hard and pointing 
into some cactus clumps near the shell pile. * ' See 
those two dark things lying there, sort of twisted 
up. Can you make 'em out?" 

"Yes; they're dead right enough," said Tevis 
very gravely. i l Poor Ole ! He didn 't like the cove 
none of the Swedes liked it. ' ' 

"No, no! It vas dose dead man's songs vot Ay 
bin hearen dose echoen vot you call!" wailed 
Pederson. "An' now you see Ay bin tellen true 
for dot. Ah, Ole Ek vas my bruddern as leekady 
vas. And day stealen all our parl ! And Ole and 


Lars don't get no shares. Ay dank I kill some 
Cheenamans yoost now dot 's vot Ay dank. ' ' 

Eed-eyed he was and resolute. He raised his 
rifle, but Flamel pulled it down. 

* ' It would be a lot of fun to send a few shots in 
there, ' ' said he, ' ' and see 'em scatter. But, Peder- 
son, we can't do it. They're too many for us. They 
might come down here and shoot us up and chop 
us all to pieces with their hatchets." He turned 
to speak to Tevis. 

Wha-r-r! Pederson's rifle barked so briskly, 
right in their ears, as to confound them for an 

"Here, you silly Swede what the devil have 
you done?" Flamel glared at Pederson. 

"Ay dank I yoost got one!" cried Pederson. 
i i See him yump ! ' ' 

One of the Mongols danced in the air and 
plumped down upon the sands. The others looked 
up from their work, affrighted, and some of them 
pointed wildly in the direction of the white men, 
while three who were armed with rifles and who 
were evidently acting as guards, raised their weap- 
ons and aimed at Pederson, who was exposing him- 
self excitedly and had to be dragged back behind 
the rocks. 

"Now we're in for it!" said Flamel. "Keep 
your heads protected and aim low if they come. 
Here, you fool Swede! Stand back, or they'll 
plug you sure." 


Pederson 's rifle rung out again and he shook his 
shoulders in glee, as he cried: 

"An under von Ay got Ay got him all right. 
Dot's two for Ole and Lars. Now Ay get an under 
von, you see! Dey don'd steal my parl for nod- 
ding, Ay dank!" 

Zip! zip! phwatt! The bullets flew past them or 
flattened against the rocks. 

Flamel and Tevis answered the fire briskly, and 
Pederson pumped lead like mad. 

It was a hot fusillade on either side, but it 
worked no great injury, for those of the Chinamen 
who did not have rifles planked themselves down 
behind the shell pile while the others sought shelter 
among the rocks. After a time the fire of the junk 
men became fitful. They must have seen that they 
were wasting their cartridges. Soon they ceased 

"There they go!" Flamel lowered his rifle. 
"They're off for the boats and they're taking 
their dead Chinks with 'em." 

"Yes and the parl!" groaned Pederson, "and 
Ay got hundred-dollar share in dot. ' ' 

They ran out from behind the point to some 
low rocks near the shell-pile and dropping down 
behind it fired again and again, while the scurry- 
ing coolies made off to the junks. Soon the lug- 
sails were slatting under the fresh moving breeze 
and the ugly craft sailed away. 

"Gone!" groaned Flamel. "Why couldn't we 
have headed 'em off some way?" 


"Gone!" repeated Tevis, "and taken the loot 
with them." 

"Yes, dey vasn't fifty pound of shell left mit- 
outen vashen. And my hundred dollar all gone !'"' 
Pederson was in a delirium of rage. Eushing down 
to the water's edge he emptied his rifle again and 
again at long range at the disappearing junks. 

"And we couldn't do a thing chasing 'em in the 
launch," despaired Flamel. "There's so many 
of 'em." 

"Yo-eee! Yo-eee!" the Chinamen yelled back, 
grimacing, taunting, triumphant, for they had des- 
poiled the Egyptians and had secured as much in 
this one haul as they would have made in a year's 
diving. Tide and wind favored them and they 
were soon well down the bay, though Pederson, 
still lamenting his losses in blood and treasure, 
sent shot after shot over the water in the wake 
of the high stern of the last junk. 

Flamel and Tevis gazed hopelessly at the 
washed-out shells scattered about the sands. Wher- 
ever they stepped their feet crunched them and the 
sound was an empty, mocking one to the two men 
as they thought of their shares in the stolen treas- 

"Gee!" cried Flamel, "this will break Mrs. 
Thrale's heart! I wish I'd stayed here with the 
guards. Of course they surprised them. Where 
was it we saw those things?" 

"Over there in the cactus clumps," said Tevis, 


striding forward and coming suddenly upon the 
bodies of Ole and Lars. 

"Poor chaps !" cried Flamel, going over to him. 
"Hey there, Pederson!" he shouted. "Stop your 
fool firing and blubbering about your lost hundred 
dollars and come up here." 

Pederson turned, like one distraught, turned 
again, fired one more shot and then strode up to 
Flamel muttering. When he saw the hatchet- 
marked bodies of his compatriots he was full of 
grief and stood helplessly staring. It was not 
until Flamel found some shovels that had been left 
by the Chinamen in their haste, and put one cf 
them into his hands that he came out of his trance - 
like state. 

Then he set to work fiercely with the shovel, 
heaving, gasping and sweating, and, with the help 
of Tevis and Flamel, soon buried the bodies of the 
two men and piled stones over their grave to keep 
off the coyotes. 

"Now/' said Flamel when they rested for a 
moment in the scant shade of a mesquit, " if I was 
boss I 'd take the launch and go after those robbers 
and see where they hold out. They must have a 
regular camp not far from here probably on this 
very island of Espiritu. If we could locate 'em 
we could rally a lot of our crew, run over there, 
surprise 'em, hold 'em up and get back the goods. ''' 

"Wouldn't night be the best time for that?" 
asked Tevis. 

"Yes. Tell you what you do, Tevis you take 


the launch and run back to the yacht, and report 
to the old man. Pederson and I will stay here. 
And there's Swenson send him over here from 
the boat. We'll need him if those chaps should 
happen to come back. ' ' 

6 'All right!" Tevis started away, calling back 
over his shoulder: " Don't you wish you had the 
pleasure of reporting this to Mrs. Thrale?" 

"Lord help you!" was the reply. 

On the way back to the boat the vision of his pig- 
tail phantom recurred to Tevis, and he blamed 
himself for not crediting his senses with its reality. 
He saw now that he should have reported to Cap- 
tain Thrale what he had seen and not have dis- 
missed the matter so lightly. 

All the speed that was in the launch and she 
was good for ten knots he got out of her on that 
flying run back to the yacht. 

"Merciful me!" gasped Mrs. Thrale when he 
reported the news to the Captain who stared at 
him helplessly out of the cabin window and blinked 
several times before he could utter a word. ' * Jim 
Thrale, didn't I tell you? Now, see what you've 
done! All that long, hard work for nothing! I 
knew they'd do it I told you so, but you would 
stick to it that them two crazy Swedes could take 
care of it. Wasn't rotted enough ! Well, they were 
rotted enough for the Chinamen to wash out. Why 
couldn't we have done it! I'd like to know! And 
now they're all gone. Thirty thousand dollars' 
worth at least and maybe a lot more !" 


"It's not all gone/' snuffed the Captain crushed 
under the weight of his good woman's words. 
"There's the shell." 

"Yes, there's the shell!" she snapped contemp- 
tuously. "What's it worth? Three or four thou- 
sand dollars at the most. And we've lost thirty.'*' 

"Mr. Flamel suggests," said Tevis to the Cap- 
tain, impatient because of the delay, "that we get 
right after them. If you'll steam back to Half- 
Moon " 

"Yes, yes!" clipped out the Captain. "Yes, 
we'll do that. Up anchor there!" He turned to- 
the pipe and whistled down to the engineer. t ' Get 
ready to start her up, Mac ! Full steam ! ' ' 

"Of course we've got to get after 'em/' said 
Mrs. Thrale. "We can do it we can make 'em 
yield up ; that is, if we can find 'em. But they may 
sneak out of our way in some hidden cove or other. 
It's a shame a mean, nasty shame that's what 
it is, and I say so." 

She said much else while the Searcher was get- 
ting under way, and what she said made Tevis feel 
sorry for the unlucky Captain who all along had 
thought he had taken ample precaution for the pro- 
tection of the pearls. 

When the word passed about the yacht that the 
treasure had been looted by the Chinamen, the 
petty officers and the crew, highly wrought up be- 
cause of the loss of their "lays" also had harsh 
criticisms to pronounce upon the Captain, and 
though this was done in quiet, the master of the 


yacht could see by their dark looks and their in- 
different attention to orders that they were all 
incensed against him. He went about sighing for 
a while and then locked himself up in his cabin, 
while* the yacht speeded south. 

"It's too bad," said Hazel when Tevis told her 
the story of the looted shell-pile as she sat on the 
after deck in a big easy chair where she had been 
talking with Sir Charles. ' ' Those Chinamen were 
real pirates after all. They certainly looked their 
parts." x 

"What do we care?" Walden raised his shoul- 
ders disdainfully and looked down the deck 
through his monocle. "Serves 'em jolly well 
right. You know what I think of 'em." 

"And you lose your share, too, Mr. Tevis!" 
'Hazel's full gaze was sympathetic. 

"Yes, I lose my share," he said in as careless 
a tone asihe-could assume, though the loss had been 
as real to him as to anyone aboard save Mrs. 
Thrale. ' * But it was only a little matter of fifteen 
hundred dollars, that is if the tests held good. ' ' 

' ' Poor Captain Thrale ! " she said. ' ' No doubt 
he's had his hauling-over by this time." 

"I wish he'd get angry and chuck that old cor- 
morant overboard, ' ' remarked Sir Charles. 

"Oh, no," said Hazel smiling. "We couldn't 
get along without Mrs. Thrale. She's a source of 
infinite delight. Well," she added meditatively, 
"I suppose this will delay us still further. There'll 
be more pearls to gather to make up for the miss- 


ing ones." She sighed. "If only I could get a 
wireless or something from father, I wouldn't care 
so much." 

Tevis did not tell her of the plan of pursuit and 
recapture which might mean less delay than she 

Mrs. Thrale stood on the bridge with the Cap- 
tain when they steamed into Half -Moon Bay and 
Flamel from the beach waved his cap to them. 
The sea hawk fluttered wildly up and down the 
little railed platform, scanning the shore for signs 
of the devastation. She was one of the first to get 
into the Captain's boat after the anchor was 
dropped. When, with flapping skirts, she sprang 
ashore, she dashed straight to the shell-pile, get- 
ting there ahead of the men. She gave one glance 
at the empty, scattered shells and called back to 
the Captain: 

1 ' Lord a-mercy ! See what they done ! They Ve 
washed out nearly all of 'em and packed off the 
rest unwashed. If that ain't what I call the mean- 
est, lowest-down kind of sneak- thi eving ! Nearly 
all we got out of this cove is stole, robbed, gone ! 
Sakes alive! Wouldn't I like to been here and 
caught 'em at it. They wouldn't have got a shell. ' ' 

"It's too bad, Emily," sniffed her husband. 
"It's too tarnation bad, but we've got about fifty 
ton of empty shell here, and at one hundred and 
twenty-five a ton, that's over six thousand 

"Six thousand dollars!" snapped Mrs. Thrale. 


"Why, them pearls was worth five times as much 
as that, the way they tested up. I wouldn't be so 
easy satisfied with a crackly lot of old empty shell 
that you'll have to go clear down to Acupulco to 
get rid of. Now, we '11 have to sail right after them 
highbinders and get them pearls back. ' ' 

"I thought we'd get that shell aboard first," 
said the Captain, ' ' or another gang will come along 
and we'll lose it all." 

"Captain," said Flamel. "I've got a scheme. 
It's for Tevis and me to take the launch and run 
down the coast after the Chinks and locate their 
camp. It's on this island somewhere. They won't 
go a mile from land and we can follow the coast 
and pick 'em up all right." 

"Then what?" said the Captain, showing a 
pleased interest in Flamel 's plan. 

"I suppose," he said deferentially, "that if we 
find 'em you'll be wanting to steam down and hold 
'em up and get back the boat. We can surprise 
'em in camp to-night." 

"Yes; I guess, we'll have to do that," assented 
the Captain. 

"Of course we will," said his helpmeet. 

"And it won't take- so very many men," said 
Flamel. "I'll speak to Tevis he'll want to go 
with me and we'll get the launch ready right 

"Heave ahead!" said the Captain. "Only I 
wish you'd order out all hands to get this shell 
aboard first." 


Flamel smiled good-naturedly and summoned 
the crew to gather up the shells. 

Sir Charles and Hazel had come ashore in one 
of the boats. Hazel looked with interest upon the 
shell-gathering operations. Tevis had just taken 
Walden aside and pointed out the low mounds 
amid the cactus scrubs where lay the bodies of 
Lars Larsen and Ole Ek. 

"By jove!" ejaculated the baronet, his monocle 
dropping the length of its string. "This is a 
beastly mess to get into." 

"Hullo!" said Tevis, "Mrs. Thrale has found a 
little pile of unwashed shells that the Chinamen 
didn't get." 

Half-a-dozen men had come at the bidding of the 
sea hawk, who set them to work immediately to 
wash out the few bushels of shells that showed 
streaks of putrid animal matter within their gap- 
ing mouths. The men had gone at the washing 
with a will, using the coolies' water-holes and 
throwing the shells, as soon as washed, into sacks 
with the others that were being taken aboard the 

"Look-a-here!" cried Mrs. Thrale to the Cap- 
tain. "See how them shell was running." She 
exhibited her little kernels of treasure. ' ' I tell you 
them beach-combers made a big haul out of us. 
Shouldn't wonder if it was twice thirty thousand. 
These few that's left are coming out big. Don f t 
say anything about your old shell. One pearl like 
this is worth pretty near the whole lot of it. ' ' She 


held up a beautiful round white jewel just handed 
to her by one of the washers. 

At that moment Flamel came over to Tevis and 
took him aside. 

" It 's all settled, ' ' said he. * ' You are to go with 
me in the launch, scouting down shore for the 
Chinks. When we locate the camp we're to come 
back and report and then we'll steam down in the 
yacht and scoop 'em in. The men are crazy to get 
after them. You see, they're all out good money." 

"I'm with you," said Tevis. "When do you 

"Soon as we can get ready," was the reply. 
"It's getting on toward evening, but there'll be a 
full moon to-night and that will help us. It's just 
to reconnoitre. There's no use getting the whole 
crew worked up over our cruise. We can give out 
that we're going to take a run down to La Paz 
for supplies." 

Tevis and Flamel were preparing for their 
launch cruise aboard the yacht a little later when 
Sir Charles, sauntering along deck, overhead them. 
He waited while Flamel gave some orders in re- 
gard to a supply of "chow" and an extra case of 
gasoline. Then he approached Tevis quietly and 
said in low, eager tones. 

"So you're going to La Paz in the little boat? 
That 's what I heard the boatswain say. Now I tell 
you what you do. Be a good fellow and take Miss 
Braisted and me along. It's only a beastly little 
hole, La Paz, according to what I hear, but there 's 


steamers touching there twice a month and we 
could get back to Saji Diego from there." 

"But we really don't know that we're going as 
far as La Paz," replied Tevis evasively. " It's a 
long way more than eighty miles." 

"Well, I'll make it an object for you to go there, 
then, ' ' said the baronet. ' ' What do you say to two 
hundred pounds?" 

"What do I say?" returned Tevis, smiling. "I 
don't say a word. I'm not master of this ship, 
and what's more, I don't mind telling you in con- 
fidence that it's not La Paz that we're after. We're 
going to chase the Chinamen to their camp, wher- 
ever that is. You can go along, Sir Charles." 

"No, no; thanks awfully!" said Walden. "But 
I wish you luck. ' ' 

"Come on, old chap!" cried Flamel to Tevis. 
"Everything's ready." 

"Wait a minute ! I've got to see Jim Eeynolds 
and tell him what to do about the generators." 
Tevis went below. When he returned to the deck 
Plamel was over the side, sitting in the launch, 
stowing the guns and the chow. 

"Mr. Tevis!" 

He started at the unexpected sound of Hazel's 
voice. There she stood in the twilight by the gang- 
way looking at him anxiously out of her dark eyes. 

"Yes, Miss Braisted!" 

"Sir Charles says you're going out with Mr. 
Flamel to hunt down the junk men who stole the 
pearls. ' ' 


"Well," he said, "that isn't exactly " 

"Please don't try to make out that it's some- 
thing else," she said gravely. "That's what you're 
going out for, isn't it? And it's an awfully dan- 
gerous thing to do. Those hatchetmen are such 
dreadful creatures. Now you must promise me 
something. ' ' 

"What shall I promise?" he asked expectantly. 

"That you'll take good care of yourself the 
very best of care and not run any unnecessary 

"Yes," he said with a tremor of tenderness in 
his tone and looking straight into her serious eyes, 
"I'll be careful for for your sake." 

"That's good," she said flushing a little. "And 
you'll not forget, will you!" 

"I'll remember," he said with a gladness of 
heart she could not have failed to note. "Good- 

She held out her hand and he gave it a gentle, 
lingering pressure. 

' ' Good-bye ! Don 't forget. ' ' 

He went down the steps and aboard the launch. 
He fussed a little with the engine, which sputtered 
and whirred, and the boat started gently. 

" Adios!" he called back to her as he stood up 
in the stern and waved his hand. 

"Adios!" she replied with an answering wave. 

Flamel twisted the little wheel, the launch made 
a short turn, spreading a long ripple of water from 
its bow, and darted out into the deepening night. 



ALL the liquid glory of the gulf was outspread 
for them as they glided out of the little bay and 
down the long, glittering moonpath, steering due 
south. From the great arch above them the pen- 
sile stars trembled in their southern largeness and 
lustre and dipped down to the sea on every side 
save where the sombre silhouette of the island 
ridges rose to the east, while the distant but per- 
vasive roar of the surf from miles of reef and 
beach crooned lullabies to sleep-fasting senses that 
must still deny sleep. 

" Great, isn't it?" said Flamel through the spell 
that had been cast over Tevis. 

"It's more than great," he replied. "It's 

Never such a night! Never, though so greatly 
in need of sleep, was Tevis so much awake. For 
the visible beauty of the watery world and of the 
moonlit, star-strewn sky, together with the adven- 
ture afoot, filled him with an ardor of life, with a 
greedy lust of the senses for the poetry that is 
more to man than his workaday nature ever ad- 
mits. So while the launch swung down the long 



liquid swells and up to the summits of the gleam- 
ing wave-tips he was full of the glamor of the 
Homeric deep and wove out a little Odyssey of 
his own in which he was Ulysses and Hazel was 
Penelope, only that his Penelope voyaged with him 
and was not left at home to be harassed by 

They rounded point after point, the engine 
throbbing rythmetically, though with an occa- 
sional irregular break that evidenced the nature 
of her running power. As each cove and inlet 
opened to them they made a careful shoreward 
scrutiny, but saw no signs of the junks. 

"Mighty glad we haven't got that grouchy 'lord' 
of Mrs. Thrale 's along with us, ' ' said Flamel, tak- 
ing his cigarette from his mouth. "Just for a 
lark I invited him to come, but of course he 
wouldn't do it when he found out what we were up 
to. He wasn 't looking for a brush with the Chinks. 
He's not like some venturesome Englishmen I've 
known they'd have been crazy to go out on a trip 
like this. The girl seemed impressed with the idea 
we'd get into a mix-up, didn't she I You needn't 
make that mumbling in your throat. I caught what 
she said making you promise you'd keep out of 
danger and all that. Say, old man," he added in 
a half-bantering tone, "do you know I think if she 
had 'the lord' off her hands, you could run up 
alongside all right." 

' ' Oh, cut it out ! " growled Tevis. ' ' Don 't make 
sport of her." 


"Sport nothing!" Flamel changed his tone to 
one of more seriousness. "You must be out in a 
mighty thick fog if you can't see what that girl 
means when she's so anxious to tell you to take 
good care of yourself. She didn't tell me that 
she wasn't worrying about me." 

There was a wistful note in his voice which made 
Tevis feel that here, too, might be a love tragedy. 
He had often seen Flamel look very approvingly 
at Hazel when she walked the deck, but it all, 
seemed a part of the general adoration of her and 
not of any special significance. Although he made 
a swift change of the subject, harking back to Mrs. 
Thrale and the shell-pile, the echo of Flamel 's 
heartening* words remained. If a man whom he 
suspected to be in love with her himself, could 
place such a devoted construction upon Hazel's 
parting admonition, why should he not so construe 
it? Why should he not 

"Look there!" cried Flamel suddenly. "Isn't 
that a sail over to starboard? And there's an- 

They were just rounding a long reef-line over 
which the surf was pounding noisily and breaking 
white in the moonlight. 

"Yes," declared Tevis; "it's the junks!" 

"Better slow down!" cautioned the first officer. 
"We don't want to run up too close to them yet. 
They're sailing down the island. Must have had 
light winds or they'd be farther along than this. 

Tevis slackened the speed of the engine and 


looking- forward over the long stretch of water, 
saw that the junks were moving slowly shoreward 
under the evening breeze. 

1 ' Guess we 'd better keep out a little and follow 
along like a fly cop on the other side of the street, ' ' 
said Flamel. ' ' They smell better to leeward any- 
way, and we're so low in the water, I don't believe 
they'll pick us up." 

So, like the detective on the other side of the 
street, they followed the junks, changing their 
course as they drew nearer, keeping landward with 
an occasional headland between them and the 
strange craft they were spying upon. Sometimes 
in the shoreward shadows they came so near the 
junks that they could hear the droning voices 
aboard them. 

' i We could send a shot aboard that fellow, if we 
wanted to," said Flamel, indicating the nearest 
of the lug-sails. ' ' Good thing Pederson isn't here. 
He'd raise a hullabaloo. Guess we'd better lay-to 
till they make that point, or they'll catch on to us. 
Gee, ain't that a fragrant perfume! What do you 
call it rose water or heliotrope 1 ' ' 

"More like Butchertown at low tide," replied 
Tevis, slowing the engine. 

"And get on to the tin-cantations ! Weird 
enough for you, eh?" 

There was a sound of banging gongs, a shrieking 
fiddle and a high-strung Mongol voice, wailing out 
in a distressful minor, through the still night : 

"Beats the * Miserere' by a mile, don't it!" re- 


marked Flamel. "I'd like to give that heathen 
Caruso something to torture the air for. That's 
right stop her. If ever they hear our put-put it 
will be all off." 

A little later they were following slowly along 
behind the junks, the "music" sounding more 
faintly and the smells lost in the night wind. Of 
a sudden the lug-sails disappeared behind an un- 
suspected point of land. 

' ' What 's this ? ' ' cried Flamel. ' ' A hidden cove ? 
I don't know whether we ought to go in or not. 
They might turn their guns loose from some am- 
bush or other." 

"Then you think there's more of them ashore !" 
Tevis peered forward as they neared the obscure 
point and the cove opened a little to them. 

"That's what? If it isn't their camp I'm no good 
at guessing. I'll bet they've got a big shell pile 
in there somewhere and a lot of loot of all kinds. 
See their fires?" 

The launch had slowly poked her nose beyond 
the abrupt little headland. There they could see 
two or three camp fire twinkling on the beach and 
a dozen men running down to the water's edge to 
meet the boats from the incoming junks. The 
mouth of the cove was narrow, but the inland wa- 
ter broadened into a quarter-mile stretch, which 
lay darkly before the launch in the shadow of high 
cliffs that ran out from the east. 

"Pretty snug, isn't it?" said Flamel. "They've 
found here a tight little lagoon, well guarded by 


that outside reef and those cliffs you see over 
there, and no doubt so shallow that nothing but 
their horse-troughs can sail into it. The only way 
we could get in to hold 'em up and get back our 
pearls would be in small boats, and it would be 
pretty risky. It's a mighty safe little camp, don't 
you think?" 

"Well," replied Tevis, "it may be safe from 
On Yick and it may be safe from Mexican gun- 
boats, but it isn't safe from Mrs. Thrale." 

Flamel laughed. ' 1 1 know what you mean. She '11 
have that loot back from those highbinders if she 
has to clean out the whole camp herself. Wonder 
if we can't get a closer view of 'em. Let's see. If 
we went right in, they'd hear the engine and catch 
on to us. Let's run her back to that first little 
cove above the reef, go ashore and sneak along 
the beach under the cliff it's pretty well in the 
shadow there and take a squint at the pagans." 

He turned the launch about and they made for 
the small cove. Anchoring and going ashore in 
the gig they stole quietly along the beach at the 
foot of the cliff until they reached a tangle of mes 
quits and chaparral. Through the tall, veiling- 
brush they worked their way around to the north 
side of the camp of the poachers and to a point 
not far from them. 

Nearly all the men of the junks had come ashore, 
and they were now squatting about the fires, gab- 
bling like geese and eating food from bowls with 
chop-sticks. A stout man, in a large blouse and 


with a round cap on his head, was giving orders 
as to the bestowal of some luggage in sacks that 
had just been brought ashore. A little way back 
from the beach amid the scattered mesquits were 
two or three small bowers and a long white reach 
of piled-up" shell. " 

Flamel and Tevis sat in the brush, their rifles in 
their-hands, noting all the movements of the poach- 
ers. Once when the stout man took a few steps 
toward them and paused as if listening, Flamel 
raised his rifle, but the man, all unconscious of 
their presence, went back to the nearest fire. 

"That's the boss that fat chap in the round 
cap," whispered Flamel; "bet a dollar he's a red- 
button man and rules this gang like a king. We 
could give him a surprise, couldn't we? He hardly 
expected us in to rice this way. No doubt but what 
he's got the stolen pearls on him somewhere or 
close by. If we could only separate him from the 
gang we could get the goods back to the yacht 
without any help. But he sticks close to camp. See 
that boatload just come ashore! They've nearly 
all got hatchets and there's three rifles." 

Tevis looked to where the moonlight gleamed 
upon the rifle-barrels. 

"How many are there in the gang," he asked: 
"I've been counting, and I make it about forty." 

Flamel made a hasty count. 

"That's about right. Of course they're pretty 
good fighters, but if we could run in here before 
morning with Pederspn and a dozen other husky 


Swedes and catch these gents asleep we could rout 
'em out, hold 'em up and get the pearls back all 

"That's a good plan," said Tevis. " Let's be 
at it." 

They turned and crawled through the brush 
back to the beach and were soon aboard the launch 
again, speeding for the yacht. During the two- 
hour run they took turns at sleeping and when the 
yacht hove in sight each felt somewhat refreshed, 
though "a little fuzzy," as Flamel expressed it. 



"WHAT luck?" demanded the sea hawk the mo- 
ment the launch ran alongside with one of 
FlamePs neat stopping turns. 

"We located 'em all right. We found their 
camp. It's about twenty miles below here, not far 
from the end of the island." 

"Did you see anything of " began the 


"How many of 'em are there?" came the eager 
demand from Mrs. Thrale, by which her husband's 
query was overborne. 

"They're in a tight little cove, Captain," re- 
plied Flamel, stepping upon the deck. "There's 
not more than forty of 'em, and I think " 

"Forty!" cried the Captain in dismay. "As 
many as that 1 ' ' 

"Only forty!" Mrs. Thrale 's high-pitched voice 
more than made up in confidence for her husband's 
lack' of it. "Why, we could run right down there 
and clean 'em out and get them pearls back in no 

"Oh, but forty hatchetmen," objected the 




" Forty's nothing, " sniffed the sea hawk con- 
temptuously. "Why, we could beat 'em out and 
get the stuff back if it was a hundred. They have 
only a few rifles and we have plenty." 

"If you'll permit me, Captain," said Tevis to 
the cowed and hawk-clawed Thrale, "Mr. Flamel 
and I have thought of a plan. It is to take down 
enough men in the launch to give the Chinamen a 
first-class surprise, hold them up and make them 
hand over the pearls." 

"That's it," said Mrs. Thrale. "Surprise 'em- 
Make 'em yield up. But why not go down in the 

"Because," explained Tevis, "we couldn't run 
in to the lagoon with her there's reefs and rocks 
and shoals and we might as well start from here 
in the launch as anywhere. ' ' 

"Our idea," said Flamel, "was not to lose any 
time, but to run right back to the camp with, say, 
a dozen men. We could get there before three 
o'clock with this tide." 

Mrs. Thrale rubbed her bony hands together 
and looked expectantly at Flamel and Tevis. 

"That'll be all right," said the Captain, with a 
show of authority. "Rouse up Pederson, Sven- 
son, and a lot of the others how many do you 
want twelve? and get 'em started right away. 
It's almost two bells. You ought to get back by 
sun-up, hadn't you?" 

"Yes, easily," said the first officer. 

6 ' But twelve men against that whole gang ! ' ' said 


the Captain. "Do you think that will be enough, 
Mr. Flamel? The Chinamen probably haven't 
many rifles, but they're mighty handy with their 
hatchets, you know." 

"I don't intend to let them get a hack at us with 
their hatchets," said Flamel. "We can stand 
them off with the rifles at a hundred feet or so and 
make them yield up." 

Flamel was ordered to call up the men and 
Tevis to take the rifles from the rack and distrib- 
ute them. The two men started hastily in different 

"Mr. Tevis!" came the voice of Hazel Braisted 
from where she was sitting on a deck- stool beside 
the afterhouse. 

His heart leaped gladly at the sound. She ha9 
been up and waiting his return after all! He 
stepped over to her in the half -darkness. She 
wore a long coat and had a soft, dark something 
over her head. She rose quickly when he came 
toward her. 

' ' So you found them and are going out on a night 

"Why," he said, looking at her fondly, where 
she stood in the shadow of the house, "I believe 
something of the sort is planned. 

"But is it necessary that you should go? There 
was an appealing touch in the tone. l ' Those awful 
hatchetmen ! ' ' Captain Thrale has been telling me 
more about them. You won 't go, will you ? ' ' 

"Yes," he replied conclusively, "I must go. 


And I'm in a dreadful hurry to prepare for the 
trip. It's late and you must go right down to 
your room and to bed, and let me carry out my 
orders. " 

6 ' Well, I'll go," she consented unwillingly. 
"Only remember, you're to take good care of your- 
self the very best care. Good-bye ! ' ' 

She put forth her hand and his own closed upon 
it and held it in a lingering pressure. 

"Good-bye!" he said. "It's worth a lot to me 
to know that you care a little as much as this." 
His voice trembled, for the warm contact of her 
hand made his pulses leap. "Here comes Flamel. 

Flamel did not see her as she hurried around the 
corner of the house. 

"Do you know," said the first officer when he 
came up, "I'd go into this hold-up game with a 
good deal more ginger if the old man would show 
a little nerve." 

"Oh, well," said Tevis, "Mrs. Thrale ought to 
be inspiration enough for you." 

"That's just it the way she lays it over the 
Captain makes me tired. Put in plenty of extra 
cartridges, Tevis, and a six-shooter for each man 
beside the rifles. We'll have the pick of our men 
and I guess the Chinks won't make much of a 

But after the men and their arms were all 
aboard the launch and they were flying down along 
the island coast, Tevis heard Flamel and a young 


quartermaster named Perkins, who had been taken 
along because of his known bravery, quietly dis- 
cussing the prospects of the adventure, and the 
first officer now struck a different key. 

"I hope the hold-up scheme will work all right," 
Flamel was saying. "Neither the old man nor 
Mrs. Thrale has any idea what it means to sneak 
into the camp of a lot of beastly hatchetmen and 
rout 'em out this way. Pleasant morning* pas- 
time, eh?" 

"What the hell do we care?" was the quarter- 
master 's reply. ' i Gimme a cigareet. ' ' 

As Tevis manipulated the engine, seeing to it 
that the oil cups were full and the batteries work- 
ing properly, his thoughts ran upon Hazel. It was 
a comfort to think of her sleeping peacefully in 
her cabin while he was out on this dubious excur- 
sion. The last sweet words she had spoken when 
she had said "Good-bye" still retfiained with him 
and the soft warm feel of her little hand. 

Other parting words remained with him, too 
those of Mrs. Thrale. He could see the b$ak and 
the eyes of the sea hawk, thrust eagerly over the 
rail as the launch chugged away, with its full load 
of armed men, and towing two small boats. 

"Bring 'em all back," she had admonished 
them. "Don't leave a single pinhead to those 
heathens. They can't do much with their old 
hatchets against your guns. You can scare 'em to 

About scaring them to pieces, Tevis, who knew 


how desperately the tongs fought in California, 
was not so sure ; but he liked the look of the launch- 
load of determined men, sitting in a double line 
with their knees almost touching each other and 
with their bristling rifles glinting in the moonlight. 
Particularly heartening to the whole crew was the 
voice of the ready-battling Pederson: 

"Ve get a few Cheenamans dissen time, eh 
boys?" he was saying. "Ay dank ve yoost mate 
oop for dot Half-Moon Bay bizness, eh, Svenson? 
Ve pay oop for Ole Ek und Lars Larsen all right. 
Dey don 'd bin kill en Svenskmen for noddings, Ay 

"No, not for noddings," grimly responded 
Svenson. "Ay make two Cheenamans go dead 
sure dis time all right." 

1 i Now Pederson, ' ' cautioned Flamel, ' l don't you 
go off half-cocked. WeVe got to surprise 'em 
remember that. And if there's any shooting done 
it's only because it's got to be done. Keep that in 
mind, all of you. We must catch 'em napping if 
we can. ' ' 

When at last they rounded the high cape which 
hid the hatchetmen's cove from the seaward side, 
Flamel said : 

"Now if you'll shut off the engine, Tevis, we'll 
bring the boats alongside and one of them can tow 
us up into the lagoon, in the shadow of the cliff 

The throb of the engine, which would have be- 
trayed them to an alert guard on the beach, ceased 


suddenly. One of the boats was pulled alongside 
and Pederson and Svenson got into it. They 
made fast to the bow of the launch, leaving the 
other boat astern, and, slowly and silently, the 
little flotilla moved over the quiet waters of the 
cove and past a gateway of rocks into the lagoon, 
towed by the small boat. There they saw the low- 
burning campfires on the beach. 

When they were well in the middle of the lagoon 
they passed one of the junks, which lay motion- 
less under the stars, with no sign of life aboard. 
The embers of the campfires ashore glowed a little 
plainer, and about them lay silent, bunchy shapes 
the bundled-up hatchet-men, all soundly asleep. 
Not a sentry was in sight. 



QUIETLY the anchor was let down in two fathoms 
and into the boat crawled the alert and expectant 
men, their rifles in hand and their Colts in their 
holsters. The three-o 'clock-in-the-morning sum- 
mons of drowsy nature had subdued the spirit of 
watchfulness in the camp there was no one mov- 
ing there. 

As soon as the keels grated upon the beach the 
men stepped ashore, subtly alert for any movement 
in the camp of the hatchetmen. Leaving Jim 
Reynolds in charge of the boats, the other men, 
led by Flamel and Tevis, walked up the soft shin- 
gle as with padded feet, past the Chinamen's boats. 

The human bundles beside the low-burning fires, 
were in little groups, as still as the rocks among 
which they lay. The bunched-up shapes looked 
darkly mysterious in the moonlight, and Tevis held 
his breath as he stared at them. How suddenly, 
at the sound of alarm, would these quiet bundles 
be quickened into active, threatening life ! 

It was a rare and unreal moment for him, for 
never before had he engaged in any sort of armed 



warfare. The Swedes took it all as a matter of 
course, but to him the whole affair seemed 

"Now, boys," said Flamel, in a commanding 
whisper when the invaders stopped for a moment 
at a sign from their chief, "when I give the word 
each of you fire one. shot over their heads and yell 
as loud as you can." 

The men, all eager to regain their treasure, 
looked vindictively at the robbers. To Tevis the 
Viking Swedes were living over again the histories 
of their predatory and vengeful forbears. As he 
looked into their tensely strained faces, showing 
ruggedly fierce in the moonlight, he saw that but 
one thought dominated them the eager desire to 
regain their own and to punish the plundering 
Mongols. Moreover it occurred to him at that mo- 
ment that the poachers must have other loot not 
stolen from the Searcher's crew, and that these 
reckless sons of the piratical Norsemen would not 
be too scrupulous about gathering in all the hoard. 

As he saw the white-haired Swedes grasp their 
weapons he noted that among them were long- 
bladed, keen-pointed knives, showing that they 
were prepared for close fighting. 

"Ready!" cried Flamel at the top of his voice. 
"Bang away!" He fired as he spoke and a dozen 
shots ripped forth, and while a fugue of echoes 
resounded from the cliffs, trebling the effect, the 
men yelled madly again and again. All had aimed 
high save Pederson and Svenson who, despite 


FlamePs orders, had fired in among the dark 
forms about the campfires. 

There was a wild uprush of the bundled coolies 
as though a cyclone had swept in among them, a 
screeching gabble of voices, high, frenzied and 
quickly changing from alarm to defiance. Hatch- 
ets and knives gleamed and clashed and a clamor 
of strange calls rent the early morning air and 
went echoing up the gulch. But there were two 
bundles that did not rise those into which Peder- 
son and Swenson had sent their whistling bullets. 

Some of the frenzied Mongols sprang toward 
the white men, their madly waved hatchets cleav- 
ing the air, and two or three wild shots rang out 
from among them ; but when in the moonlight they 
saw the rigidly raised rifles threatening them, they 
fell back in confusion, huddling together and glar- 
ing defiantly across the open space to the quiet, re- 
lentless handful of determined men who confront- 
ed them. 

"Steady, boys!" was the command. "Stand 
your ground and keep 'em covered! Don't shoot 
till I do!" 

Standing beside the panting Pederson and in 
line with the other Swedes, Tevis felt the strange 
tenseness of the situation to its utmost. 

"Hi-lo! hi-lo!" called Flamel to the Mongol 
band, waving his hand commandingly, but with his 
rifle still up-raised. "We come for pearl! We 
catchee pearl you stealee! You givem up now 
savvy ! Must havem pearl ! ' ' 


"No sobee! Hip no sobee!" was the cackling, 
indeterminate reply. 

"Yes, you do, damn you!" roared Flamel in a 
great bull voice, with a sharp upthrust of his rifle 
barrel. "And you've got to give 'em up! Close 
in on 'em a little boys!" 

The men pressed forward about ten paces, their 
weapons still raised. 

1 ' We wantee boss ! ' ' called Flamel. ' ' We talkee 
boss! Where is he? Come out, boss we talkee 

"Hip no sobee!" yelled a high Mongol voice 
from the central group of the besieged. The voice 
continued in tones which Tevis took for those of 
the man in command. ' ' We catchee fish, abalonee, 
shark, tuttle no sobee pearl ! ' ' 

"Oh, no! You don't savvy pearl," bellowed 
Flamel. "Well, I'll give you just two minutes, 
boss, to come out and deliver up the goods. You 
hear ? Two minutes ! ' ' 

"No, no!" grunted the stout Mongol, who was 
evidently the chief for whom they were looking. 
You go 'way one minute ! ' ' 

There was a flashing of hatchets as the bloused 
figures gathered about the spokesman and the 
gabble arose again, with wild accompanying ges- 

To this unexpected threat, Pederson who had 
been perking up in a bristling obsession, yelled 
savagely : 


"Ve no savvy yo one minuten. Ve gif a tarn for 
yo one minuten. Bah!" 

' ' Shut up, Pederson ! ' ' called Flamel. ' ' Hi-lp ! 
You boss! We come from steamboat to catchee 
our pearl. You got we must have ! ' ' 

" No hob pearl! No hob! Hip no sobee pearl!" 
insisted the boss, though in a more subdued tone. 
' * Me talkee you now all-right ! Hip sobee Melican 

"All right, come out, boss, and let's see you!" 
Flamel lowered his rifle and the boss stepped for- 
ward, accompanied by a half dozen of his men. ' ' 

' ' No only the boss ! We talkee him. You other 
fellows stay back. Savvy ! ' ' 

The stout, moon-faced man, in the big blouse, 
waddled slowly toward the white men. He began 
a long, high-pitched goose-gabble of talk, in which 
he was from time to time supported by assenting 
nods and grunts from his men, who had calmed 
down to the aspect of quiet, everyday Chinamen 
and no longer showed anything suggestive of a 
hostile front, their weapons having disappeared 
from view. A few of them straggled over to tho 
boss ' side and while he blandly and unctuously ex- 
plained the entirely peaceful and legitimate nature 
of their business on the island, assuring Flamel 
he was mistaken in confounding them with the 
wicked shell-pile robbers, others of the camp slow- 
ly sauntered up to the white men. 

"Guess we don't make much out o' this crowd," 
observed Perkins to Tevis, "See the scar on that 


chap's face?" He pointed to a nearby Celestial 
from whose yellow cheek there showed an old dirty 
white hatchet gash. 

The man with the scar was talking in low tones 
to a member of his tong. While speaking he made 
a quick gesture and in the dark hollow of the loose 
sleeve of his blouse, Tevis caught the gleam of 

"Mr. Flamel!" he called instantly. "These 
men are getting too close. ' ' 

"Stand back there, you fellows!" shouted 
Flamel. "Now, boss, we must have those pearls 
savvy or ' ' 

His voice was drowned in a series of sudden 
yells from the boss, commanding calls, ringing 
high and wild, and swiftly answered by weird, 
cackling cries from the highbinders, while from 
the sleeves of a score of blouses flashed glittering 

"Stand back, there!" yelled Flamel. "Stand 

But the onrush of the highbinders was not to be 
stayed by a word. They sprang upon the surprised 
white men like wolves, yelling madly, their hatch- 
ets clashing upon the upraised rifles, now useless 
save as fending tools against the hacks of the 
short, swiftly wielded weapons of the unfair foe- 
men who had quickly planned this cunning method 
of attack that they might fight in their own favor- 
ite fashion. 

Tevis felt a sudden coolness about the roots of 


his hair as he faced the waving, slashing hatchets, 
but he sprang resolutely past the close-fighting 
mass of white-haired Vikings, who were throwing 
down their useless rifles and were making their 
six-shooters speak sharply and to good purpose, 
and on to FlamePs side. What, on the first, sud- 
den uprush of the highbinders, had seemed the 
cobwebby unreality of the whole affair was riven 
and swept aside, and he saw the battle as a quick, 
sharp, vital clash at arms. There was a tumult in 
his blood. He himself became a Viking, full of 
the spirit of primal man. He raised his heavy 
Colt and sprang to the front with Flamel, while 
the boss of the highbinders fell back to the rear of 
his wildly fighting men. 

There was a rattle and whirl of shots from the 
Swedes, and Tevis found himself firing madly with 
the rest, and with as little heed to consequences. 
As the valiant Swedes closed in upon the Mongols 
with their revolvers and knives, Tevis suddenly 
discovered himself in a pistol-and-hatchet argu- 
ment with two pig-tailed men. One of these fell 
suddenly before him, whether from one of his own 
shots or that of the other whites he did not know. 
As the other Mongol lunged forward, he fired at 
him blankly, but miraculously missed, and the fel- 
low bore down upon him with swinging hatchet. 
Tevis seized his loose-hanging pigtail, yanked him 
quickly to one side, dodged the hatchet-blow, and 
bore his man softly to the ground. A pair of 
bony knees dug him in the stomach and a pair of 


sharp-nailed hands clutched wildly at his throat. 
There was a surge and heave of bodies all about 
him, harsh breaths, grunts, groans and alien, un- 
couth smells. 

But the shock of battle had been wonderfully 
stimulating to his blood. He seemed possessed of 
a force that had been outside and beyond him and 
he wrestled vigorously with his madly writhing 
foe, grappling the wildly swinging hatchet-arm at 
the wrist, and trying to strike the man on the head 
with the heavy butt of his revolver, while all the 
time he felt the breathing, straining body under 
him. He thrust aside the claw-like, pricking fin- 
gers, grasped the shoulders of his man and held 
him to the earth, coming down hard and close upon 
him and dropping his revolver as he did so. There 
was a swish of air above his head, and, turning, he 
saw that his quick descent had saved him a blow 
from a hatchet wielded by a fierce highbinder who 
stood over him with upraised weapon, ready to 
strike again. Tevis coolly grasped his new antag- 
onist by his loose-clothed legs and he came down 
like a tree beside the other man. Then he had the 
two of them to struggle with and the unequal com- 
bat must have resulted badly for him, but that a 
big Swede took his new assailant off his hands with 
a quick knife-thrust. At the same time some one 
in the struggling mass kicked Tevis inconsiderate- 
ly in the face. It may have been the Swede, for 
some outside force had brought him down upon 
him. He groped about in the sand for his revolver, 


but could not find it. The hatchet man beside him 
was lying quietly, and so was the Swede, but his 
first f oeman was now wriggling out of his grasp. 

All about him he heard shots, hatchet-strokes, 
the piercing gabble of the Mongols, the shouts of 
the Swedes and the scurry of flying feet. With 
his eyes searching the ground for the lost revol- 
ver, he saw two black, snake-like objects lying 
there the long queues of the dead man and the 
living and, reaching down, he kinked the braids 
in a hard knot that brought the two heads together, 
while his assailant squealed and piped like a dying 
pig and tried to free himself from the loathsome 
toils. But he rove the two queues together loop by 
loop, and drew them so tightly, that the two heads 
lay close up, and his man was securely anchored 
for the time. Then he sprang to his feet, and 
searched about in the sand for his revolver, finding 
it at last, and grasping its handle with a fierce 
joy. But there were now no combatants near at 

Looking about, he saw in the gray light of the 
quickly approaching dawn the figures of the 
Swedes running toward the cove in full cry after 
a band of Chinamen, while others of the pursued 
were getting into their boats and pushing off for 
the junks. As he ran down the beach he caught 
sight of Flamel and Pederson, the Swede well in 
the lead of the pursuing white men. 

What seemed strange about the flight of the 
main body of hatchetmen was the fact that they 


ran all bunched up, like football players in a flying 
wedge, protecting the man with the ball. Soon 
Tevis saw who the man with the ball was. He was 
the stout boss in the big blouse. His men were 
covering his waddling flight to his boat. It was for 
the reason that he was fat and slow-footed that he 
must needs fall toward the rear of the wedge in its 
retreat, and as the whites pressed down upon them, 
Tevis saw him flagging behind, as the others lost 
loyalty and compactness in their frantic efforts to 
escape their pursuers. While Tevis overtook and 
ran with the rest of the men, the fleet Pederson 
sprang in among the thinning rear guard, and 
seized the "boss" by the collar. The loose-'blouse 
came off in Pederson 's hand and fell to the ground, 
while the man, freed from the clutch of the Swede, 
rushed ahead after the rest. But, strangely 
enough, he did not go ten steps, before he turned, a 
revolver in his hand, his round, oily face a picture 
of defiance. He made a desperate plunge back 
to the fallen jacket, and, planting his feet firmly 
upon it, swung his glittering weapon to right and 
left in the frenzy of an animal at bay. Pederson 
paused, for the pistol popped viciously and two 
bullets whizzed past his head. 

"Bun around behind him, Pederson, Johnson!" 
yelled Flamel. "Don't shoot him. He's the boss 
and he knows where the pearls are. The rest of 
you get after those chaps that are making for their 
boats. Keep 'em on the move." 

The two Swedes rushed to the rear of the frantic 


Chinaman, but he faced about suddenly and sent 
a bullet in between them. 

1 ' Better give up, old son, ' ' shouted Flamel, ' ' and 
throw down that gun!" 

"No sobee!" was the wheezy return of the boss. 

"You know, I like that," said Flamel to Tevis. 
"He's the right kind a man who doesn't savvy 
when he's beat" 

To this compliment the defiant Oriental replied 
with a bullet that grazed Flamel 's cheek. 

< ' Oh, cut it out ! ' ' The first officer put his hand 
to his face. "I don't shave with that kind of a 
razor. Get in there, you fellows ! Close in on his 

But the infuriated man swiveled about on his 
jacket, like a whirlwind, his white shirt fluttering 
in the breeze and his gleaming pistol everywhere. 

"Ay dank he no bin gotten any rear," said Ped- 
erson, quietly. 1 1 But Ay get him alledy same. ' ' 

He rushed in upon the mad fighter and grasped 
at his pistol hand. 

Bang! Zipt! A bullet whisked through the sand. 

"There goes his last shot," said Flamel, while 
the pistol clicked' on empty shells and the boss 
yelled to his men, who by this time were off in the 
boatslamid a bustle of rifle shots from the pursuing 

Pederson seized thelman around his stout waist, 
and bore- him to the ground, where he clawed like a 
cougar, and would have fought off the'burly Swede, 
but that two other men laid harsh hands upon him. 


Even then, with three men holding him down, he 
squirmed, and heaved and the veins stood out on 
his fat forehead from which the sweat rolled in 
streams. Defiance still glittered from his eyes, 
while his hands clutched at the jacket. t 

"Now, boss," said Flamel. "You got heap 
big lot of pearl all belong to us. Where you keep 

"No sobee!" persisted the man, with a grunt as 
Pederson 's knee pressed suddenly upon his chest. 

1 1 Oh, you heap savvy ! Where 's the pearls ? ' ' 

With one hand the prostrate man had been work- 
ing at the blouse until it was now stuffed into the 
sand at his side. Flamel noted the action just as 
Pederson brought his knife within an inch of the 
fallen man's throat, with the grim words : 

"Ay dank I maken him tell all right." 

"No, Pederson," cried Flamel, "don't do that. 
Let's have a look at that jacket. He risked his 
life for it, and it may be what we're looking for." 

He seized the blouse and was pulling it out from 
under the boss' body, when it was clutched tightly 
by the long-nailed fingers. 

"You no takee coat!" gasped the boss. "Him 
my velly good coat. You letta me go now, you 
ca tehee hip money gol' money tlee, fo' t'ousand 
dolla. I catchee coat, go junk f o ' t 'ousand dolla. 
You sobee?" 

"Aha!" cried Flamel. "They're in the jacket 
all right. Tlee, fo' t'ousand dolla? Not on your 
blooming pig-tail ! Let go ! " He pulled at the coat, 


the Chinaman still retaining' his clutch upon it. A 
violent yell and it was free from his grasp. The 
garment was of purple silk and well made, but the 
inside cloth had been torn in the struggle. 

"Hold on!" cried Tevis. "Don't lose 'em!" 
For out of the rent lining poured a half-dozen big 
white pearls. They fell in the sand and he picked 
them up, while Flamel gathered the garment to- 
gether and rolled it up tightly. 

"Come down this way where the sand's harder, 
Tevis," said the first officer, "and we'll look into 
this thing on safe ground, where we won't lose 
anything. Tlee fo' t'ousand dolla! I'll bet 
there 's over fifty thousand in this thing. ' ' 

He took the blouse down to the wet beach, but 
when he unfolded it no more pearls fell out. He 
and Tevis looked closely at the garment, which was 
of good strong silk and heavily padded. It was 
rather old, and it was greasy down the back from 
much contact with an oily pigtail. Turning it over 
they saw that it was lined with a satin-like cloth, 
stitched on in curious ribs or strips. They fingered 
the lining closely, even into the loose sleeves, but 
could feel nothing that seemed like pearls; but 
pearls had rattled out of that lining, and there 
must be more in it somewhere. They laid the coat 
down on the sand inside out and pressed firmly 
down upon it with their finger-tips and palms, but 
through the cloth they could feel none of the hard 
little objects for which they were in search. 

"This is a trick coat," said Flamel mystified. 


"He must have borrowed it from Herrmann, the 
Great. Let's cut out a little more lining and see 
what's inside." 

Tevis took his knife and ripped up the lining 
from the bottom rent made by the boss 's claws on 
the left side of the blouse. 

1 1 Ah, ' ' he exclaimed, ' < leather ! The thing 's go't 
an inside lining, and these strips are put on to 
keep it in place." He made a lateral incision across 
several of the strips and through the leather. 
"Here you are," he said "long inside pockets, 
not much bigger than pencils. ' ' He squeezed along 
one of the pockets and out of the cut he had made 
rolled three or four good-sized pearls, white and 
scintillant in the morning light. 

"Yes," cried Flamel, "that's where they are. 
It's our lucky day. The thing's chuck full of 
pearls. That's what it was made for. I can feel 
'em now. Just run your finger -along that pocket. 
It's like a snake that's swallowed a string of 
beads. Let's try the other side. 

Tevis cut through the double lining in the right 
side of the blouse, and squeezed out a half dozen 
black pearls. 

"White on the left side, black on the right," 
cried Flamel, in high excitement. "The thing's 
as good as a gold mine. They've no doubt been 
robbing shell piles all up and down the Gulf." He 
rolled up the coat and tied it together by the 
sleeves. "We needn't look any further until we 
get aboard," said he. "Now what '11 we do with 


the boss? Guess we'd just better tie him up and 
leave him on the beach for his folks to look after 
him when they come back. Then we'll take care 
of those poor chaps of ours who went down in the 

"How many men have we lost?" asked Tevis. 

"Three, I think pretty well chopped up by the 
hatchetmen. They're lying back there by the camp. 
We've got to give 'em a decent burial, and there's 
two others that have got bullets in 'em. We've 
got to take care of them. Guess we'd better hurry 
and get 'em aboard as soon as we can. If you'll 
stand guard over the boss, Pederson and the rest 
can tend to the wounded and throw our dead into 
the lagoon. The pagans can look after their own. ' ' 

"There's one live Chinaman back there queued 
up to a dead one," said Tevis, remembering his 
strange exploit. "What are you going to do with 

' ' Let him stay where he is. ' ' 

He went back to the scene of the battle and 
while Tevis guarded the now quiet and subdued 
boss, Pederson brought some tag-ends of rope 
from the boats and secured him with a vindictive 
pulling of knots. 

When Tevis saw the Swedes bearing the bodies 
of their comrades down to the water 's edge he had 
to look the other way, for in their sorrow some of 
them were weeping and lamenting unto heaven. 
He heard the bodies splash into the lagoon, and 
turned aside with a sigh. He had known the dead 


Swedes. They were worthy men and he would 
miss their faces from the crew. 

The two wounded men had already been placed 
in the boats. There was now nothing to do but 
to get aboard the launch and speed away from the 
place which, as Tevis reflected, had been the scene 
of great fortune and of greater disaster. Taking 
the two rowboats in tow and giving the junks a 
wide berth, they glided down the lagoon towards 
its mouth, the curses of the coolies coming to their 
ears over the low waves and a half dozen rifle- 
shots making the water spout about them. 

Just as they neared the mouth of the lagoon, 
they heard the yacht's whistle, long-drawn and 
distressful. . 

6 ' Speed her up, Tevis ! ' ' cried Flamel from the 
bow where he was steering. "Something's the 
matter aboard the yacht. Wonder what he ran 
down here for anyway. ' ' 

" Guess the old lady got anxious about us," said 
Tevis advancing the spark a little. 

"But what's he whistling for? Must be some- 
thing up. ' ' 

"Dar's der yacht now!" exclaimed Pederson, 
as the Searcher's familiar lines loomed up 'beyond 
the reef. 

They rounded the rocky cape steadily, though 
the boats dragged a little, and they could not run 
very fast. Flamel stood up in the bow as they 
passed the last point. 


" Speed her up throw her wide open!" he 
yelled, ' l or we '11 never get there. ' ' 

"What's the matter!" asked Tevis anxiously. 

' l Matter ? Nothingrnuch, only there 's a damned 
gunboat after the yacht and it's just like Thrale 
to lose his head and run away and leave us to take 
care of ourselves ! ' ' 

Tevis stood up in the boat. His eyes swept the 
great level of liquid light, the morning sea, across 
which the sun had begun to spread its rays of 
rose. To the west and near at hand was the yacht, 
standing off the mouth of the cove awaiting them. 
To the southward there was a curl of black smoke 
and the bristling masts of a steamer coming on 
rapidly, her hull showing plainly in the slanting 

"Do you think it's really a gunboat?" asked 
Tevis anxiously, advancing the spark to the last 

"Yes," replied Flamel, "no doubt about it. Must 
be the General Torres. She's the only cruiser 
they've got on the Gulf now. Yes, that's what it 
is. It's the General all right; and we've got to 
make a hot run for it or we'll see the inside of 
the calaboose at La Paz before night." 

"Why, I thought you said we were prepared 
for such an emergency the specimen-collecting 
dodge how about that?" 

"Can't be worked now too much shell aboard, 
we'd be caught with all this loot. Our only 


chance is to run for it. Great Scott! What's the 
matter now?" 

For the engine missed stroke after stroke, and 
wheezed, gurgled and did everything that it should 
not have done in such an emergency, finally 
slackening to half-speed. 

"Better get out your oars," said Tevis quietly, 
turning the feed-cock and shutting off the gaso- 
line. "We're hung up all right! Damn those 



TEVIS opened the battery box and fussed and 
fumbled about in it to ascertain the cause of the 
trouble, while the oars flashed in the sun and the 
men in the boats pulled like mad and towed the 
launch slowly along toward the yacht. It took 
him at least five minutes to find the loose binding- 
post which was the particularly thing gone wrong, 
but to tighten it was the work of a moment. He 
cranked the engine, which quickly took up its 
steady pulse and they dashed ahead again, towing 
the boats, with the men in them. 

"Good boy!" shouted Flamel. "I thought we 
were done for that time. ' ' 

"Looked like it," said Tevis, smiling in his vic- 
tory over the obstinate engine. "Guess she's all 
right now though." 

But the gunboat was showing bulky and threat- 
ening, and, coming on as she did, it was evident 
that she was trying to cut them off from the yacht. 
For a time it looked as though she would accom- 
plish this object, but the launch was fleet, and she 
had not come up quite soon enough to effect this 
plain purpose ; still, as the boats were delaying the 



yacht, which could hardly sail away without them, 
as Flamel had feared, the position was very 

Now they could hear the blaring megaphone call 
from the yacht, Captain Thrale bawling from the 
bridge and ordering them to make more haste. 

Mrs. Thrale stood beside her husband, beckoning 
madly and her voice ringing out above the bull 
bass of the megaphone : 

"Come on! Come on! You're making no time 
at all! For mercy sakes, why don't you speed up 
a little?" 

Hazel's white face over the rail came into view, 
and presently her voice mingled with the others. 

"Oh, hurry, hurry, hurry!" she cried, beseech- 
ingly, across the narrowing strip of water that 
divided them from the yacht. "Can't you come a 
little faster?" 

The launch darted ahead, as Tevis risked the 
crowding of her engine a bit harder in answer to 
Hazel's call. He rejoiced to think that she was with 
them, heart and soul, in their wild dash for liberty. 
It nerved him to his work and he did not make a 
single false move, though he risked running along- 
side without shutting off the engine until the last 
moment, so that they might lose no time in board- 

Pederson and the other Swedes were as skillful 
in the handling of the small boats. In an incredi- 
bly short time they all hastened up to the side, and 
piled aboard the yacht, carrying the wounded men. 


By the time the boats were fast to the davits the 
vessel was under way. But even before that the 
voice of the sea hawk demanded raucously: 

"Did you get the pearls? Did you get 'em?" 

"Yes," said Flamel shortly. 

"Did you get 'email!" 

"I think so." 

* ' Good ! good ! Good for you ! ' ' 

There was a flashing gleam of triumph in the 
woman's hard, greedy eyes. 

"Where are they? Let me see 'em!" she 

"They're in this bundle," said Flamel, hand- 
ing the sleeve-tied blouse over to her with an im- 
patient sigh. This having to answer to a woman 
captain, and particularly under stress of a men- 
acing gunboat, was not to his taste. ' ' Excuse me ! 
The Captain's calling." He strode away, and 
Mrs. Thrale, clasping the precious bundle to her 
breast, scurried to the Captain's cabin with flut- 
tering skirts. To her the threatened attack of the 
cruiser was but the buzzing of a fly in this glorious 
moment of the recovery of the treasure. 

Those of the crew who had quickly learned the 
good news gazed after her with satisfied smiles as 
she hurried below. Their shares were safe. 

"But it didden bin yoost leekady picken it oop 
off en der beach," explained Pederson. "Not yoost 
like dot. Veil," he said, glancing toward the on- 
coming gunboat, "mebbe ve don'd keep 'em long 


anyvay. Ay dank dees Mexicans ynmp onto us 

soon as ever vas." 

When Tevis had helped to secure the launch, 
which hung heavy in the davits and required care- 
ful maneuvering in swinging aboard, he leaned 
against a stanchion, just a bit fagged after all his 
strained efforts, and stared toward the General 
Torres which for the time seemed to be gaining 
upon the yacht. 

* ' Oh, Edwin Tevis ! " It was Hazel 's voice in hi s 
ear, full of sympathetic agitation. "I'm so glad 
you weren't hurt, and I'm so glad you got away 
from those terrible Mexicans!" She caught at 
his hand and gave it a convulsive little squeeze, 
while he thrilled to the warmth of it and of her 
precious words. He minded not the commotion 
among the crew, the wild hum of the propeller, the 
cry of the Captain for ' ' Full speed ahead, ' ' nor the 
nearing menace of the gunboat. 

" We've been standing outside over an hour," 
she said to him, "but it seems an age. I heard the 
shots. Oh, there were so many of them ! And then 
the awful silences, and more shots. And after it 
was all over, I waited and waited for the boats to 
come back. Then there was the gunboat, and I 
prayed you might escape her. Did you see I They 
tried to cut you off from the yacht." 

"Yes. I hope we'll show them a clean pair of 

1 1 Oh, we shall get away, ' ' she said proudly. l ' No 
boat ever raced with us that wasn't beaten. But 


she's dreadfully close, isn't she? Did you see that 
puff of white smoke from her deck just then? It 

was like " The boom of a gun finished he* 

sentence for her. " Are they shooting at us? Dear 
me! Isn't it terrible 1" 

"No," said he, "they're not really aiming at 
us. It's just a warning. A shot across our bow. 
We're supposed to stop now." 

"But we won't," she cried resolutely. "We'll 
run away from them. We'll show them we're not 
going to surrender to any old tub like that." 

"But you must go below." 

"Oh, no; not yet. Let me stay a little longer." 

Full of the speed and spirit of the chase, the 
brave girl watched the bull-dog pursuer astern, 
while shot after shot splashed in the sea about the 
racing, throbbing yacht, or skipped along the 
wave-tips, sending up sparkling aigrettes of spray. 

Tevis wondered where Walden was, and judged 
that he was somewhere below. 

When the Searcher settled down to the business 
of making speed she skimmed over the sea like a 
gull, and the Mexican, though straining hard to 
overtake her, soon fell behind. A shot came tear- 
ing through the yacht's rigging and brought a 
brace rattling and thudding down from the fore- 
mast. The men, under Thrale 's nervously shouted 
orders, ran to clear the deck. 

"You really must go below now, Hazel," urged 
Tevis; "for the General Torres is getting mad 
and he's begun to do damage." 


"I'd rather stay on deck and watch the General 
fall behind. " She smiled bravely. "He's losing 
rapidly now. And then I want to talk with you. 
I want to know all about the fight with the high- 
binders and about the poor men who were wound- 
ed. There was none killed, was there?" 

i l Oh, but you must go below, ' ' he insisted. " I'll 
tell you all about it down in the saloon. Come 
on! Come!" 

She obeyed at last and went below with him, 
and they sat and talked while the roar of the Gen- 
eral Torres' guns grew fainter and fainter. 

"You don't like compliments," he said, "bui 
did no one ever call you a brave girl ? ' ' He looked 
at her admiringly. "Most girls would have 
shrieked when that firing began and they would 
have fainted when the shot tore away the brace." 

"I don't believe I'm so very brave," she said, 
smiling, "but perhaps I've taken a leaf out of 
Mrs. Thrale's book. She's the only other woman 
aboard, and she's so warlike. One easily gets to 
imitating, you know. I believe I should become a 
sort of pirate if I kept on. These things get into 
one's blood. Much as I have wanted to rejoin my 
father, it has been quite an enjoyable voyage after 
all, and this is the most stirring chapter of it." 

She glowed rosily as she spoke and was so com- 
panionably confidential that he felt a budding faith 
in her interest in him. It certainly had been charm- 
ingly expressed when she saw him safe aboard 
after the fight and the chase. * 


"Yes," he breathed earnestly, "I'm glad you 
have been along, for if you hadn 't been, the cruise 
would have been nothing to me. ' ' 

"Oh, you would have been so interested in these 
adventures that you would have forgotten all 
about me, ' ' she said naively, getting up and going 
over to a port. "Look there! See how the gun- 
boat has fallen behind ! ' ' 

He stepped to her side while she held back the 
little curtain. 

"Yes; and she's stopped firing. Well, I sup- 
pose she'll give us up as a bad job now." 

"I told you she couldn't get near us," said 
Hazel. "This is a fast boat. But how did you 
get the pearls back from the Chinamen? I want 
to know all about it." 

He began the story simply, and, as he went on, 
her color heightened. When he came to the purple 
blouse she laughed gayly. They were both so in- 
terested in the narrative at this point that they did 
not observe the entry of another person into the 
saloon, but now a burry voice broke in : 

"Ah, it was funny, indeed, wasn't it? upon my 
word fighting with a lot of scurvy coolies over a 
few pebbles!" Sir Charles' face was dark and 
heavy, and he spoke with the abandon begotten of 
wine. "Flamel has told me all about the fight," 
he went on, "how you roused up the poor China- 
men and stole that fellow's jacket. But of course," 
he added jealously, "you and he are heroes now 
to the ladies. Mrs. Thrale is probably waiting for 


a chance to fall upon your neck, just as another 
woman I could name. You " 

What stopped the taunting stream was the sud- 
den stiffening of Tevis' athletic frame and a look 
that blazed from his glinting blue eyes a cold, 
hard, compelling look that bespoke a scorn as fine 
and as liberal as an Olympian god's. As he stood 
staring steadily and icily at the man, there was 
that in the iron compulsion of his gaze which so- 
bered, awed and dominated him. Those menacing 
orbs looked him through with an implacable gleam, 
the face was white and full of a relentless rigor, 
while the lips curled in a contemptuous smile that 
conveyed almost as much of warning and of threat 
as did the eyes. 

Terrified by the look and fearing violence, which 
she might have known would not have been dis- 
played in her presence, Hazel stepped a little near- 
er to Tevis and said imploringly : 

" Don't mind him please don't! He'll think 
better of his words later, I know he will. Did you 
see how quickly we ran away from the Mexicans, 
Sir Charles?" she asked in assuaging tones. 
"They're away behind now." 

Walden moved his lips to speak, but his mouth 
was dry and his tongue failed him. She could see 
how completely that steely stare, that inexorable 
menace, had overawed and affrighted him. 

Eelaxing his rigor, Tevis turned a mild gaze 
upon her, lifted his cap with formal politeness and 
strode out of the saloon. 


"Oh!" cried Hazel in a low tone, turning her 
accusing eyes upon Sir Charles, "how you de- 
served that how you deserved being cowed and 
beaten by that man's contempt." 

"Cowed beaten? I like that!" He tried to 
carry off the incident with a light air, though there 
was a tremor in his voice. 

"You wouldn't have liked what he would have 
done but for my being here. He looked capable of 
stamping upon you and throwing you overboard. ' ' 

"Oh, he had a nasty, insolent air," admitted 
Sir Charles; "but I should like to see him try to 
stamp upon me." 

"You you're brave, aren't you? I don't see 
how one of your nature could brook his resentment 
that way. It must have been unwittingly. But 
there's one thing you must do and at once, too." 

"What's that?" 

"Go to him and apologize." 

"Apologize to that electrician?" grumbled Sir 

"To that gentleman." 

"Oh, but I can't do it, I really can't. He's such 



"You shall apologize to him immediately, or I'll 
never speak to you again." 

"Oh, I say, you don't mean that!" 

"Go to him and say that you're sorry or I'll do 
precisely what I have said," she insisted coldly. 

Sir Charles ' eyes studied the carpet. 

"Well," he muttered, "I didn't intend to make 


any row. I I of course I was wrong; and I'll 
apologize. It won't occur again." 

"No," said Hazel, sweeping past him out of the 
saloon, her voice breaking into a sob as she uttered 
the words, "it can't occur again. If father only 
knew! Wait until I see him!" 

Sir Charles found Tevis in the smoking-room, 
moodily biting at an unlit cigar. The angry man 
stared at him with a challenging look which 
changed suddenly as the baronet said abruptly 
and as if forcing out the words : 

"I'm sorry I spoke as I did just now. But you 
must have known it was just my way." 

Tevis looked at him uncertainly. 

"Did Miss Braisted ask you to do this?" 

"Yes," admitted the humbled man in a low tone. 

"Very well then," said Tevis with a sudden 
lightness of heart, ' ' although I must confess I was 
waiting for you to see you alone and well, we'll 
say no more about it. ' ' 

He took the flabby hand extended to him and 
gave it a slight pressure. Sir Charles turned ab- 
ruptly and went into his room, muttering as he 
closed the door behind him : 

"What rot ! The idea of my apologizing to that 
electrician! I wouldn't have done it but for her. 
Why did she insist upon it ? " There was jealousy, 
shame and rage in his tone. "Why! Unless, in- 
deed, she loves him as I feared. But an elec- 
trician ! It 's impossible ! ' ' 


In her room Hazel threw herself down upon her 
bed and buried her face in the white coverlet. She 
was very angry. She had found much to disap- 
prove in Sir Charles before, but this was the first 
time he had openly insulted her. In her wrought- 
up, resentful state she found herself hotly framing 
a note that she would send to him, forthwith re- 
leasing her from what she had many times con- 
sidered her odious betrothal to the man whom her 
father had chosen as her husband. Her father! 
But he must have seen, he must have known, and, 
knowing, approved. He would not have approved 
of Edwin Tevis. It was inevitable that the two 
men who had just stood in such sharp contrast he- 
fore her the one noble, valiant, fine, the other 
cold, insolent, selfish should still remain, a pic- 
ture of opposites. Tevis was so manly, so self-re- 
liant ; and the other so full of coarse hauteur and 
as readily condescending. 

But the words of the letter framed themselves 
feebly when the thought of her father recurred to 
her. Now that his fate was uncertain and occupied 
so much of her daily and nightly meditation, her 
consent to the loveless marital arrangement 
seemed hopelessly fettering. 

Yet there had arisen a mightier reason than her 
heart had ever known before for breaking the 
chains that held her, and that reason was Edwin 
Tevis. He loved her and yes, she would own it 
to her heart she loved him. She knew how her 
father, anxious for her to wed title* would scorn 


the idea of her looking upon such a man in the 
light of a lover. She could see his hard face, his 
thin money lips, coldly laughing her down; she 
could see him dominating her in his iron way as he 
had dominated her dead mother. For one who was 
of the house of Braisted could know no will but 
that of its master. 

Yet, despite it all, she would be thinking of Ed- 
win Tevis. She could remember so many things 
he had said to her, and, more than all, she could 
remember the light of love in his clear, frank eyes, 

It was he who had made this enforced voyage 
supportable and, in some passages, even delightful 
to her. But it could not last long. She would be 
going away and leaving him on the far rim of the 
continent he who was to her the whole horizon. 
It was hard to think of this. 

"Oh, father, father!" she moaned tremulously, 
her face half-smothered in the coverlet. Oh, if I 
could but speak to you ! If I could tell you ! ' ' 

Again the cold, commercial face of her father 
rose before her forbiddingly, and she knew that 
had he been there she would hardly have dared to 
open her heart to him, and if she had dared, it 
would have been a vain appeal. 

Tevis went on deck, not much mollified by the 
forced apology. The terms of it were not to his 
liking. For now she would speak to Walden again 
she would forgive him and as for himself, he 
was still an outsider. But it might be that Sir 
Charles had cause for his jealousy. His heart 


leaped at the thought. She had shown so much 
interest such concern for him in danger a con- 
cern almost tender in its expression. What was 
the logic of that concern if it were not love ? 

He went to the rail, and stood just opposite the 
belching stack. The engines were pulsing madly 
and the hot fumes from the fire-room came up, oily 
and sickening, through the deck grating. Over the 
side the sea was scurrying past and away astern 
the smoke of the pursuer lay low upon the water. 

Captain Thrale came along, looking like a man 
just off the rack. His smile as he stopped near 
Tevis and looked astern was thin as winter sun- 

"Well, we've shown her a pretty neat pair of 
heels," observed Tevis. 

"Yes; she's hull down and out of it," he said, 
with a twitching face, "but still you never can tell. 
She may have a few knots up her sleeve yet. I've 
seen things happen in ocean races you know." 
They walked along the deck and up to the bridge 
together. Mrs. Thrale stood abaft the wheelhouse, 
gazing steadily through her glass. She had been 
keeping watch there almost since the beginning of 
the chase. Her cheeks seemed more tightly drawn 
and the corners of her mouth more sunken, but her 
hard black eyes blazed with victory. 

"Didn't we scoot away from 'em, though?" she 
said, triumphantly. "Didn't we show 'em white 
water? I'm glad it's all over. I've just been ach- 
ing to go down and see what's in that Chinaman's 


jacket. It's stowed away in the Captain's safe. 
Mr. Flamel says it's padded with pearls. I hope 
so, but men folks are so easily fooled." She 
started below. "Want to come along, Mr. Tevis? 
Come, Captain!" 

They went to the Captain's office, where Mrs. 
Thrale opened the little safe and took out the 
greasy purple garment and laying it upon the 
table, unfolded it carefully. 

"Smells like opium or something," she said, 
sniffing like a cat. "Now, I don't see," she went 
on, feeling along the strips sewn to the lining, 
"how there can be as much in this thing as Flamel 
thinks, though he did give me a few he'd taken out 
of it." 

She pressed her finger tightly along one of the 
strips toward the cut Tevis had made through the 
lining and the leather, but her careful working 
down the seam was unrewarded. 

"Merciful me ! I'm awfully scared you've been 
fooled," said she disappointedly. "Padded with 
pearls ! Why, it 's as flat as a pancake. But here 's 
something that will open it." She took from her 
pocket a pair of sharp-pointed scissors. "I'll just 
rip up them queer-sewed strips and see what's in- 
side." Her scissors clicked in her nervous hands. 
She was cutting down from the top of the coat. 

"Why, sakes alive! Now, I see where the 
mouths of them little pockets are that Flamel 
talked about. They're all around the arm-holes 
there and covered by that false pleat." She ran 


her finger under the edge of a strip of braid and 
revealed a half dozen little round apertures. 
"That's them," she said, sticking her thin, long 
forefinger into one of the pockets, "and they run 
down deep. I think I feel something hard in 
there. " She seized the scissors feverishly and cut 
away at the pocket-mouth. "My suz! It's tough 
as hickory! Let me take your knife, Mr. Tevis." 

She clutched the knife from Tevis ' hands and cut 
away at the pocket, ripping it down. The pocket 
was merely a tube of leather, neatly sewn the 
same kind of leather Tevis and Flamel had found 
in the bottom part of the lining. 

"Yes; here they are!" she cried as pearl after 
gleaming pearl rolled out of the slit. "Gracious 
sakes alive! Just look at 'em! Ain't they pretty? 
And such a lot! And there's a lot of pockets, at 
least ten, under each sleeve." 

She ripped and slashed pocket after pocket, each 
yielding forth its handful of bright round gems, 
some white, some black, but all of good size and 

"And here's one as big as your thumb," she de- 
clared, as she ripped through a pocket larger than 
the rest, containing only a solitary gem. "That's 
worth five thousand dollars if it's worth a cent!" 
she cried joyfully." "They've been working for 
us you don't know how long they've been pirat- 
ing shell piles, but you can see what luck they've 
had. It's all for us ! I don't feel anything on my 
conscience in taking 'em all. They won't half -pay 


for the men of ours they've killed or the risks 
we've run or anything." 

She smoothed her hand over the gems caressing- 
ly and then scooped them up with her bony fingers 
from the purple side of the coat on which they lay. 
The talons of the bird of prey kept working eager- 
ly and gladly while she shrilled forth : 

"Why don't you say something, Jim? You 
don 't seem to realize what this means. Why, we 're 
rich rich as dirt rich as them diamond dealers 
in that store on Market street where we looked in 
that day to ask the price of a half-dozen cheap little 
silver spoons. Silver? Our silver will be all gold- 
lined and heavy as anchors. And I'm going back 
to Maine and have a big house and a carriage and 
high-stepping horses and harness covered with 
silver. I'll show them Binghamville folks! I'll 
show Mrs. Giddings ! And we'll invest our money 
and it will grow and some day we'll have a private 
yacht like this, and just as fast. I wish you could 
realize it, Jim. ' ' 

"Oh, I realize it all right," said the Captain. 
"But I'm thinking about how we can get all this 
treasure safe home. There's all kinds of things 
that might happen." 

"Yes, if you're silly enough to let 'em happen," 
retorted his wife contemptuously. She took her 
buckskin bag out of the safe and poured its con- 
tents upon the jacket with the Chinamen's loot. 
"See what a lot it looks like now!" she cried, her 
talons scooping the gems together. "It's thou- 


sands and thousands of dollars. I wish we knew 
exactly. But it's a heap of money. It's " 

A great burst of sound from below decks broke 
off her exultant speech'. There was a series of 
thumping roars and a screeching, long-drawn hiss 
as of escaping steam. 

"Good God!" screamed Thrale, springing to- 
ward the door. "Something's the matter with the 

"Well, I'd like to know! What are you running 
out on deck for?" cried Mrs. Thrale, snatching up 
the pearls and pouring them into her bag. "Why 
don't you use your speaking-tube?" 

The Captain ran to the pipe, blew down with a 
great gasp and stood livid and shaking, with his 
ear to the hole. Tevis was so close that he could 
hear the hard voice of McLaren, the engineer, 
penetrating the uproar from below. 

"Blown out a boiler tube that's all only 
there's two men killed and one pretty badly 
scalded. Have to shut down for a while." 

"Have to shut down?" repeated Mrs. Thrale 
when the Captain told her the direful news. "I 
guess not. It's too bad about those poor men ; but 
that gunboat!" 

"Yes; she'll be right on to us," groaned the 
Captain. "We can't do anything under sail, 
though the wind is good. I'll run up every stitch, 
though, and maybe Mac can get the engine in shape 
to do something before she comes up. ' ' 

"Of all the pesky luck!" Mrs. Thrale put the 


treasure into the safe and slammed the door. 
"Well, they ain't going to get them pearls away 
from me ! " she cried, fiercely, 1 1 not even if they fire 
us full of shot and we sink by the weight of 'em! 
My country !" 

"I'll tell you," said the Captain, "we'll work 
that first game we arranged for the scientific 
scheme. We've got the specimens to show." 

"Yes; too many of 'em altogether," sneered his 
wife. "If we were going to carry that out, we'd 
ought to have cleaned up them shell and stowed 
'em under the coal or something. It "11 never do 
in the world, Jim, and you know it. We've got to 
get away from him some way. Maybe the steam 
will be on pretty soon." 



BUT though every inch of canvas was stretched 
to the breeze and the yacht sailed fairly along over 
the sunbright sea, the hull of the gunboat grew be- 
fore the eyes of the anxious watchers. Every man 
who could be of the least service in the engine-room 
was set to work down there, and Tevis labored 
with the rest. At the best all that could be done in 
the present crisis was mere make-shift. It would 
have taken a skilled boiler-maker two days to put 
the tube in proper shape, but they had no such man 
aboard. Tune was everything. Every clock-tick 
counted. When the engine could be so adjusted as 
to dispense with the broken tube, they could pro- 
ceed under steam, though probably a little slower 
than before. It was a time of intense strain and 
anxiety. Though the chief engineer and his assist- 
ants worked swiftly and tirelessly, the cruiser kept 
nearing the yacht and from moment to moment 
they expected to hear the sound of her guns. 

When, however, it was thought that the engine 
would be started again in a few minutes, and Tevis 
went on deck to gaze astern with eager eyes, he 
was glad to see that there was still a safe distance 



between them and the gunboat. She had evidently 
been coming on a little slower having noted their 
obviously crippled state. 

" What's he up tol" he heard the Captain ask 
Flamel, as they scanned the Mexican from the 

"He thinks he's got a snap going to run along- 
side and take us in without firing a shot, ' ' said the 
first officer. 

"Thought you said the engines were ready, " 
complained the Captain. "Why the devil don't 
they start up?" He puffed nervously at the cigar 
which he held tightly between lips from which 
all traces of color had flown. 

"They'll be going ahead pretty soon," said 
Flamel confidently. 

But the screw lay silent, and, to add to their un- 
easiness, the breeze fell away, the booms swayed 
idly, and the yacht's head began to veer unsteadily. 

"Gee!" cried Flamel desperately, "We haven't 
even got steering way. ' ' 

"For God's sake," cried the Captain, whistle 
down to the engine-room, Flamel. He's got to 

start up right away or " He looked back with 

frenzied eyes at the gunboat. 

"Says he can't get her to work just yet," was 
Flamel 's cheerless word for the engineer. "Well, 
we've got Espiritu aft us now, and we're nearly 
off San Jose. If he starts her up right away we 
can run close ashore in some of those wide shallow 
places where they won't dare follow. There's 


miles of short soundings there, and those gun- 
boats are all deep draught." 

Steadily the General Torres came on. It would 
not be long before she would be within hailing dis- 
tance. Despite what Flamel had said about her 
running alongside, Tevls momentarily expected 
to hear the roar of her guns. 

Of a sudden the yacht veered about in the slack- 
ening tide, her steering chains clattering and the 
shadows shifting aboard. 

"It's all up with us I can see that plain 
enough!" moaned Thrale, setting his teeth hard 
upon his burnt out cigar. 

"No!" There was wild exultance in Mrs. 
Thrale 's tone. "We're going to make it all right 
yet, and that's what will save us!" She pointed 
over the bow to where the sky was streaked and 
blotted as with enormous inkstains. "That's a 
chubasco, as sure as guns, and as dirty a one as 
you ever saw on the Gulf. And do you think he '11 
stand for it? No, siree! There's a safer place to 
leeward of that point over tKere, and he'll run for 

"Think so?" said the Captain. 

"Yes; you wait till she begins to drive; then 
this little picnic will be all over for him. It's noth- 
ing much to his credit anyway if he takes us, and 
he'll postpone the pleasure and 'tend to his own 
knitting. ' ' 

"But how about usV The chubasco will be 


worse for us than it is for Mm ! ' ' Thrale groaned 
aloud in abject misery. 

"Us!" she sneered contemptuously. "Why, 
we'll run before the wind, if it takes the two sticks 
out of her. We Ve got to do it, or they'll catch us 
as soon as it's over. They blow past pretty quick, 
if you lay head on, but if you run with 'em they'll 
take you a long ways. ' ' 

Even as she spoke the near water whitened in 
the first rush of the great squall. The wind flirted 
in their faces, the yacht heeled and shivered and 
raced away before the gathering blast. The crew 
ran to their stations in anticipation of orders to 
shorten sail. The Captain sprang into the house 
to glance at the glass and came' out with a very 
pale face. 

1 1 Never mind, Jim ! We '11 fight this thing out ! '* 
cried Mrs. Thrale, with a defiant sweep of her hand 
toward the coal-black cloud that was scurrying 
down upon them. If you'll give the orders I'll 
stay up here in the house with Mr. Tevis and send 
him to you if anything happens. ' ' 

"All right," said Thrale, meekly. "Keep her 
nor' by nor 'east," he called to the man at the 
wheel, "and dead before the wind." He turned 
and said to his wife : Maybe we can run it out, but 
we've got too much sail up. Mains '1 ought to be 
doubled-reefed, and the others taken in." 

"Single reef all around will do all right," in- 
sisted Mrs. Thrale, "and not a stitch more down 
till we have to. Them masts are stubby as iron- 


wood trees. They'll stand all right. They've got 

The wheel house shook, there was a banging-to 
of doors on the lower deck and the wind hooted 
over their heads as the blackness spread about 
them. The Captain ran out to give his orders, 
Flamel going with him, remarking quietly to Tevis, 
as he went: 

"This is her doings: but there's more dirt in 
this thing than she thinks. I wish she and her 
pearls were safe ashore somewhere. She'd drown 
us all for the sake of a handful of the gritty 
things. ' ' 

Mrs. Thrale glanced at the glass and scowled. 
Then she glared through the darkness, her eyes 
ranging all about the sea. 

* i Good ! ' ' she smiled. ' ' The dagoes have given 
it up! Can't see 'em anywhere. That was quick, 
wasn 't it f They 're off to leeward of the point, and 
they won't see hide or hair of us when it's all over. 
We'll be forty miles away if we're an inch." 

There was a boom and clatter of mingled noises, 
shrieking wind, straining plates and timbers and 
ripping, swashing seas. The wind scuffled with 
the yacht like a vicious wrestler, the deck was 
swept by scudding rivers of waters, and then lay 
steeply aslant to the sea as the wind raged to an- 
other quarter in its wild, cyclonic twists. A chair 
in the wheelhouse went crashing down and Mrs. 
Thrale ami Tevis were banged against the table, 


nearly embracing each other in their efforts to 
keep upright. 

The quartermaster was working hard at the 
wheel, upon which he bent his whole weight at 
times. Mrs. Thrale looked at the glass again, and 
the bar sinister came to her forehead, as the Cap- 
tain blew in with a gust, dripping all over with 
spray, his sodden cigar-stub in his mouth, and his 
eyes wild with terror. 

' 1 Them sails has all got to come down," he 
wailed dismally. 

"I guess so," she replied, looking at the glass 
again, and shaking her head, "but I hate like any- 
thing to do it. Not just yet, Jim. Wait till it 
comes a little harder. Get hold of that wheel with 
Joe, will you, Mr. Tevis ? ' ' 

Tevis obeyed the order with alacrity. 

"I don't see why in Sam Hill I can't run this 
ship myself," whined the Captain. "She'll turn 
turtle as sure as guns, if they don't come down 
right away. We 're short-handed. We can 't ' ' 

"Oh, do it if you want to !" she cried, and Tevis 
blessed her inwardly for the words; for the 
thought of Hazel, crouching terrified somewhere 
below, nearly obsessed him. ' i But don 't blame me, 
Jim Thrale, if that gunboat catches us after all. ' ' 

Thrale ran out like a deer and bawled his orders 
to the men; Tevis saw the foresail sweep down to 
the boom, where the men fought with the whipping 
gaskets, and he rejoiced to see the righting of the 
ship, and to note the relief of her terrible strain. 


The mainsail was taken in ; but still they scudded 
before the blast, and the spray blew over their 

Mrs. Thrale blew down the tube again and again, 
but there was no reply. At last she sprang back, 
her face wrinkled in a triumphant smile. 

"They're getting up steam steam steam!" 
she cried. Glory ! We can scoot to the end of the 
Gulf now, if we want to, and the dagoes will never 
set eyes on us again !" 

While she spoke there came the good, grinding 
feel of the screw. The tension on the wheel re- 
laxed, as the steering-gear came into play again, 
and Tevis and the quartermaster wiped the sweat 
from their faces. 



BY mid-afternoon the storm relented. Luminous 
streaks shot through the inkstains and whitened 
the wave crests, and when they ran under the lee of 
a small anonymous island and lost the cross-swell 
and the Titanic lift of the wind they felt that they 
were out of harm's way. The Mexican was no- 
where. Mrs. Thrale was in the hallelujah stage of 
jubilation ; the Captain was still pale, and Flamel 
went about shaking his head. He told Tevis he 
had had enough of feminine mastery aboard ship. 

"Why, twice there she nearly ran us under, " he 
complained. "We lost three men washed over- 
board from the f oward deck, and a couple of others 
are hurt. I wanted to give the order to< cut away 
everything, but the Captain wouldn't stand for it. 
She braced him up. Good thing the crew didn't 
know who was doing it. There was blue hell among 
'em as it was. They thought the old man was 
crazy. ' ' 

Tevis started down the companionway to see 
Hazel. Some of the men had been knocked about 
and hurt, and he had seen little Yokio with his 



arm in a sling. He was afraid something might 
have happened to the girl. But on the last step he 
met her, coming up. She was wrapped in a long 
ulster through which the wind outlined the shape- 
ly curves of her form. 

"Wasn't it terrible ?" she said. " We didn't have 
it half as bad as that coming around the Horn. But 
when they got steam up it seemed to help things.' 71 ' 

* ' Yes, ' ' he said, l i the engine is running all right 
now. Weren 't you awfully frightened 1 ' ' 

"Not as much as I should have been, I suppose. 
You see I have a perfectly absurd faith in the 
yacht. Where are we now? Is the cruiser in 

Before Tevis could reply she tripped up the com- 
panionway and he followed. She was very fetch- 
ing in her close-clinging habit, and when she 
stepped on deck the wind made sweet mischief with 
her hair. 

"Why," she exclaimed, "We're near a new 
island, and the storm is over. But I don't see any- 
thing of the gunboat. ' ' 

"No; we've run away from her, a long way, I 
think. She won 't bother us any more. ' ' 

"You know," she said, clutching at her cap, 
"I've been thinking about those poor wounded 
men who were shot by the highbinders. I thought 
about them all through the storm, and I wondered 
what I could do for them. It must have been terri- 
ble for the poor fellows when we were tossing 
about. I wanted to go to them and do something 


for them, but it was so rough. All I could do was 
to hold on to my berth." 

They went foward and down into the steward's 
room to inquire about his charges. There they 
were told that two of the men had died during the 
storm. The others, who were not so badly hurt, 
were likely to recover. 

"And to think, " cried Hazel, "that their lives 
went out in all that din and uproar! Oh, why 
wasn't I here to do something for them?" 

"Don't take on, Miss," said the steward. "No- 
body could have helped them. They had to go. I 
saw that at the first, and it's better they didn't 
linger along and suffer." 

' * It may be, but I feel guilty, ' ' she insisted. ' ' I 
could have done something I know I could have 
done something. But these others whom you say 
were not badly hurt. Let me help take care of 

"If you want to, Miss," said the steward. 
"There's one that has a hatchet cut in his 
shoulder, one with his leg broke, one with his head 
smashed, and " 

Tevis raised his finger warningly, behind 
Hazel's back and the steward ceased his recital of 

"Here's the Jap," he said, as Yokio entered the 
room. "I haven't had time to put a proper ban- 
dage on his arm. It isn't broken, but he got a bad 

"Let me attend to it tell me what to do." 


Hazel laid aside her ulster and cap. "I'm going 
to be nurse," she said smiling. Tevis was glad 
for her sake that she had found an outlet for her 
eager sympathies. 

"Here's Mrs. Thrale," she said while she was 
winding the bandage around the Jap's arm and he 
was helping her, holding the roll of absorbent cot- 

"Yes," said the sea hawk, I've brought down 
some elderberry wine for them that needs it. 
There 's nothing better: ' ' 

"Thank you, Mrs. Thrale," said the steward, 
taking the bottle from her hands. 

"Now mind you," she adjured him, "it's only 
for the sick folks." 

They held their northward course under a shin- 
ing sun and a calming sea and before dark passed 
among the islands of Santa Catalina, Monserrate 
and Carmen. 

Next morning they were at anchor off Tiburon 
Island and the sea lay about them like a slab of 
jade. The dead had been consigned to the deep 
just before sunrise when Tiburon was fairly in 
sight. Flamel said to Tevis as the water quietly 
closed over the last of the dead men: 

"Mighty short-handed now hardly enough men 
to handle the ship. As for pearl diving, I guess 
it 'sail off." 

But as they neared Tiburon the old avid look 
came into Mrs. Thrale 's eyes again. 


"Nothing has ever been done on these banks to 
amount to anything, ' ' she said to Flamel. ' ' There 's 
been an awfully savage tribe the Seris living 
on the island, and they 'd go for anybody that came 
near. But they're thinned down now so there 
ain't many of 'em left, and it's safe enough. Cap- 
tain thinks we'd better stay up in these waters for 
a while anyway till the gunboat forgets about us 
or takes after somebody else. So we may as well 
improve our time. We'll let everybody rest until 
to-morrow, and then we'll wet some of that extra 
tubing. ' ' 

Flamel was full of scorn because of the purposed 
extension of the diving work. 

"Why, we can't man two boats properly," he 
complained to Tevis, "and with that highbinder 
clean-up we've got as much stuff as if we'd stayed 
here all summer. The old cormorant never will 
get enough. What we ought to do is to run down 
to Guaymas harbor, leave the yacht, sneak ashore 
and make off overland on the railroad, back to the 
States. And, mind you, the loss of the men means 
a lot more of loot for her anyway their shares 
will all go to the ship." 

He went to the Captain who agreed with him in 
his usual tentative way and said he would "see.'* 
But Mrs. Thrale won, as Tevis knew she would. 

They worked along the island coves for a week, 
keeping always to the northward. The diving was 
all done in the daytime, but they were not molested. 
Not a sail did they see out on the Gulf, not a soul 


ashore. If the Seris saw the yacht, which is likely, 
they made Ho demonstration. 

The banks were rich, but not so fruitful as Mrs. 
Thrale had anticipated, and with only two divers 
at work, they did not greatly increase the bulk of 
the treasure. 

Despite Sir Charles 'jealousy of him,Tevis often 
found himself at Hazel 's side. They talked, read, 
played ring 1 quoits on deck or he turned the music 
for her at the piano. The young woman, who was 
essentially a social being, must, as Tevis argued 
self-interestedly, often have found the company 
of the unwieldly Sir Charles rather wearisome. 
But though she was willing to be entertained by 
Tevis and particularly enjoyed the ring quoits, he 
remarked, with a touch of irritation, that she 
seemed never to forget her duty to the man she 
had promised to marry. 

"I'm afraid," she said to him one evening as 
they stood on the forward deck, well up in the bow, 
watching the sun sink, crimson and swollen, into 
the western sea, "that I'm a pretty poor pirate 
after all. You don't know how I've been longing 
to slip into an opera cloak and go to hear ' Lohen- 
grin* or something." 

"An opera cloak would look strange here," he 
sighed, not fancying the flight she was taking, for 
it placed her in one of her remote longitudes. 

"Yes; but it's November, and the Metropolitan 
season is open. The last time I went it was with 
father and Mrs. Poindexter. It was 'I Pagliacci.' 


Caruso was wonderful!" She sighed gently. 
"But this cruise can't last forever," she went on. 
"Mrs. Thrale will be getting her bag full of pearls, 
and then she'll be willing to make port." 

"No; it can't last forever." He looked at her 
with a clinging fondness and sighed in his turn. 

There was a sudden stir forward. The Captain's 
boat call shrilled forth in a high tremolo and then 
a blast from the steam whistle rent the air. 

"The junks again!" cried Hazel, pointing to 
where the lug-sails came trailing about the lower 
point, making straight toward the yacht under a 
fresh breeze. 

"Yes," he said, starting forward at a signal 
from Flamel. "He's calling in the boats. There 
are two diving crews out to-day." 

"Oh, I hope the Chinamen won't attack them!" 
he heard her say as he hurried along the deck. 

"Well, Tevis," said the first officer as he neared 
him and they were both nervously intent upon the 
approaching junks, "they look like business, 
don't they? They're heading straight for the 
boats. They'll clean 'em up unless we can run 
over in time to do something." 

They sprang forward to where the Captain was 
ordering up the anchor and blowing his boat-call 
until he was red in the face. The divers had been 
pulled into the boats and the men were rowing 
wildly toward the yacht, but four junks now inter- 
posed in a deadly line and rifle-shots began to fly. 

"Jim, we must run in and save them boats ! ' ' de~ 


clared Mrs. Thrale. * ' No use yon whistling to 'em 
any more. We Ve got to run in and save 'em from 
the Chinamen." 

* * Maybe so if we can, ' ' was the nervous reply. 
"But it's shoal water in there. It's a big risk it's 
a big risk; and the Chinamen may board us we'll 
have to go slow, with the sounding lines." 

"But we ought to try for it, Captain," urged 
Flamel. And so Thrale reluctantly gave the order, 
the screw began to whirr and the yacht headed 
shoreward, moving slowly while the head-line 
swished in the shallow water. 

Meantime Tevis managed to get Hazel below, 
though she had insisted upon staying on deck, 
where Mrs. Thrale was flitting about and Sir 
Charles .was big and brave with the largest rifle 
he could find in the gun-rack, banging away at the 
junks, though Flamel had ordered that no one 
should fire until the command was given. 

"You're putting me down here out of harm's 
way," cried Hazel to Tevis "while you are going 
up on deck, and the Chinamen are coming." Her 
round cheeks whitened as she spoke. 

4 ' Stay here in this corner, ' ' he commanded, lead- 
ing her into the little library alcove and seating 
her among the book-cases. "Keep this pistol in 
your hand all the time. If they board us, I'll run 
down here and look out for you." 

' ' Thank you thank you ! ' ' she cried. i ' But you 
must be careful. They will fire upon the yacht, 


won't they? What will happen if they Oh, you 
mustn't expose yourself you mustn't!" 

He closed a port hole near her and told her to 
keep away from it. Then he started to leave her, 
glancing back to where she sat among the book- 
cases. In that moment of their great peril she 
seemed doubly dear to him. Her half -finished 
question, "What would happen if the hatchetmen 
came aboard?" gave him a heart-sick feeling. 
Well, he would do his best to see that they did not 
come aboard. Of course the yacht could steam 
quickly away from them were it not for the men 
in the divers' boats whom to leave in the lurch 
would have been a craven act. He rushed up the 
companion, rifle in hand, just as Flamel gave the 
order to fire. It was but a feeble volley, that whicK 
was directed upon the junks from the yacht, and it 
did not cause the Chinamen to desist for a mo- 
ment from their fell purpose of destroying the 
poorly armed men in the small boats who were 
falling like flies under their deadly fire. When 
the last helpless man in the nearest boat dropped 
limply across a thwart, the great eyes of his glossy 
diving helmet staring up to heaven, Tevis groaned 
aloud and, standing by Flamel 's side, pumped lead 
with a fierce, vengeful hand. As the yacht neared 
the small boats he could see two wounded men try- 
ing to rise. One had a pistol in his hand which he 
bravely fired at the Chinamen. 

The nearest junk now came about and showed 
her big ugly figurehead a dragon with enormous 


red eyes and a yellow crest. Her men were not 
visible, as they lay behind the gunwale, but their 
rifles spat vindictively and their bullets whistled 
over the yacht or plunked against its side. An- 
other dragon turned its great red eyes upon the 
yacht and still another. 

"Bout ship! bout ship!" rang Thrale's wild 

"Isn't he going to try to save the wounded men 
in the boats ?" cried Tevis to Flamel. 

"What's the use?" was the cool reply. "They'd 
be shot all to pieces by those nearest Chinks before 
we could do a thing. ' ' 

The yacht headed about speedily. There was a 
tremendous rattle of shots from the junks and a 
half-dozen bullets ploughed into the woodwork of 
the house near them. A Swede fell heavily upon 
the forward deck, his rifle clanging down. 

"Too bad!" cried Flamel. "There goes an- 
other man. But we're getting away from them 
pretty lively now." 

The junks quickly fell astern. Walden, who had 
not been seen upon the deck during the real attack, 
came up the companion, white-faced, but ready 
for a few departing shots which he delivered 
solemnly. Then, with a knowing shake of the head 
he went below again. 

Tevis was just about to go below and reassure 
Hazel of their safety, when he heard the shrill call 
of a woman 's voice behind him : 

* ' The gunboat ! Do you see her 1 Look there ! ' ' 


Mrs. Thrale pointed southward where, whisking 
around the cape with belching funnel, the General 
Torres was coming on under full steam. l ' And the 
Chinamen see 'em scoot for shore! That's all 
they can do now. They've sunk both our boats, the 
murderers, and there's nothing left for us but to 



THE yacht was heading northward and the pro- 
peller was beating wildly, but with her poorly 
working engine she could not make her best speed. 
The Mexican was coming on, sending an occasional 
shot hurtling over them. But amid all their ex- 
citement the view of the shoreward flight of the 
Mongols presented itself as the most vivid part 
of the picture. The quick, scrambling, vitascopic 
action of the hatchetmen as they made away from 
the junks, in their frantic rush for shore, piping 
mad calls to each other, fighting wildly for places 
in the boats, and pulling like demons at big-bladed 
oars that splashed in the water or "caught crabs" 
in the lurch and toss of the overloaded little craft, 
was a strange sight and quite grotesque in some 
of its aspects. 

But on the smaller junk of the four a number of 
men remained. The bow was pointed obliquely in- 
shore and the lug-sail slanted down until its boom 
dragged in the water. 

"They're going to beach her," exclaimed 
Flamel, "and let the others drift. Wonder if the 
dagoes will think they're worth picking up. Yes; 
they're slowing down." 



They watched the slackening cruiser, while the 
yacht's wake widened and she flew north like a 
wild goose. 

i ' They 're lowering a boat," said Flamel. 
" She's full of marines. And there's another. On 
Yick has put 'em up to this he's been complain- 
ing of them, no doubt." ' 

But no sooner were the boats in the water than 
the cruiser headed for the yacht again. She had 
merely sent the marines off to secure the junks 
while she renewed the chase of the yacht. Tevis 
started with Flamel for the bridge. 

"I don't know what we're going to do," said 
the Captain scratching his fuzzy beard. "Even 
if we get away from the gunboat we're so short- 
handed, there's hardly going to be men enough to 
fire up. "We shouldn't have let any of the coal- 
passers go out in the boats, Emily." 

1 ' May I come up and see ? ' ' Hazel 's soft, round 
face showed above the edge of the bridge. "What 
has happened? Is that the cruiser after us 
again f ' ' 

Tevis gave her his hand to help her up the last 
step to the bridge. He explained their position, 
saying hopefully that as they had been able to run 
away from the Mexican before, they should doubt- 
less do so again. She referred to the crippled 
boiler and looked a little anxious, remarking that 
their speed did not seem to be so great as it was in 
the former chase. 

As Tevis looked back to the cove they had just 


left lie was sad. He thought of the brave men who 
^had gone down in the boats sunk by the pirates. 
Among them had been the doughty Pederson and 
Jim Reynolds, his faithful helper in the dynamo 

He and Hazel remained on the bridge half an 
hour, during which the positions of the two 
steamers seemed to be practically unaltered, al- 
though Captain Thrale declared from time to time 
that the Torres was gaining. The yacht hugged 
the northwest shoulder of the island and then stood 
eastward toward the Sonoran coast, it being the 
Captain's idea that in dodging the numerous head- 
lands he could.better shake off his pursuer, as the 
Mexican was bound to lose sight of the Searcher 
now and again. Thus in rounding the northwest 
cape, with its upstanding cliffs, the smoke of the 
gunboat vanished from their view. 

"I'm glad we've lost her," said Hazel, "if it's 
only for a little while. She seems to be following 
us like a hound after a deer. Where are we now? ' ' 
She addressed the question to Tevis, but he could 
not answer her more definitely than to say that 
they were off the north coast of Tiburon Island 
and were running eastward. 

"Let's go in and see," he said, and they stepped 
into the pilot-house, where the chart of the Gulf 
lay out-spread upon the table. t ' Here is Tiburon, ' ' 
he pointed out the island. 

"Why, it's close to the Mexican coast," she said, 
leaning over the map, the tip of her pretty fore- 


finger on a long narrow strait that separated the 
island from the mainland. "I hadn't any idea it 
was so near. Let's see what is the name of that 
coast land? 'Desierto Encinas.' The Encinas 
Desert. And look at all those rugged mountains. 
A very forbidding coast, isn't it?" 

"Yes; everything about the Gulf seems to be 
rugged, harsh and dry." 

As he looked at the chart he wondered what the 
Captain's object was in making toward the main- 
land. If the Mexican gained on them at the present 
rate he would run them down in less than three 
hours unless they should be able to dodge him. 
Tevis measured off the north coast of the island by 
the scale. It was fifteen miles from the northwest 
cape to Pearl Point, above which the mainland 
made a^great Gulfward sweep, rounding itself into 
a curved inclosure, something like a large bay, to 
which the strait between the island and the main- 
land formed a long narrow southward-stretching 
outlet. It seemed likely that it was the Captain's 
intention to run down the strait, which was four or 
five miles wide and twenty-five miles long, and by 
dodging in about the headlands, keep out of the 
Mexican's clutches. 

Hazel saw him pause with his finger upon the 
long outlet, which might be their way to freedom. 

"What is that name <Estr echo Infiernillo?" 

1 1 Little Hell Strait, ' ' he translated. l i See at the 
opening of it, there, 'Boco Infierno' Hell 


"With ^unta Tormenta on one side and Punta 
Desperacion on the other. I can tell what those 

"They look cheerful, don't they?" said he. 

As a matter of fact, he was not at all pleased by 
the outlook. What was this Little Hell, into which 
one voyaged between Point Torment and Point 
Desperation? He had never had much confidence 
in Thrale as a navigator. Was he about to put 
the yacht and the remnant of her company, to- 
gether with the precious life of Hazel Braisted, in 
dire peril, that he might escape from the lesser 
danger of capture by a modern cruiser, whose com- 
mander would probably treat them gently enough 
after confiscating their craft and treasure? 

Glancing ashore he saw that they were round- 
ing another headland and were making toward 
the Little Hell as fast as steam could propel them. 
Then he looked astern. The Mexican was coming 
on, grimly and swiftly, gaining on them at every 
turn of her screw. 

"It ain't any use, Emily," Thrale said as he and 
his wife stepped nervously into the wheelhouse. 
"He's got us. We may run along for a mile or 
two, but we might just as well head about, and 
wait for him." 

' ' And run up a white flag ? ' ' she sneered. ' ' And 
take our pearls aboard and hand the whole bag 
over to the greasy dago, with our compliments 
and best wishes? I'd like to know! No, siree! 
We're going to run that strait, just as I told you 


we would. He won't dare to follow, and you know 

' 'You're going to run the Little Hell!" gasped 
Tevis. "Have you looked at the chart! Have 
you " 

''That's just it," cried the Captain, clutching 
at the implied remonstrance as to a friendly sup- 
port, "she doesn't know what it means. I've 
looked it all up. It isn't navigable. It's got a 
worse tide than the Bay of Funday. It's full of 
ugly cross currents, rips, williwaws, reefs, rocks 
and everything. Look here! Here's McGee's re- 
port on the thing." He drew a little book from 
a locker and opened it with quivering fingers. 
' ' ' Bahia Kunkaak funnel-shaped embayment, so 
placed as to receive half the volume of the incom- 
ing tide and to concentrate the flow into a bore, 
hurtling through Boca Infierno and thence through 
the shooting strait with greatly accelerated ve- 
locity. From the Bahia Teopa (that's up here;" 
he pointed to the chart "we're just getting into 
it) there is an unobstructed inflow by which 
the strait is reflooded with a counterbore * * * 
waters, heaped, pounded into an unstable churning 
mass. Flooding is little less than catastrophic in 
magnitude and suddenness.' " 

"I wouldn't be scared out by a lot of big 
words," said Mrs. Thrale, with forced calmness. 

" 'Sublocal winds are characteristic * * * 
swept daily by winds ranging from fresh breezes 
to gales so stiff as to load the air with sand ashore 


and spray asea * ' * * Storm currents, tide 
currents, breakers, eddies, whirls, and cross-cur- 
rents * * * Strait is safe only for portable 
and indestructible craft, which may be put off or 
carried ashore by craftsmen willing to wait for 
wind and tide.' There, what did I tell you?" cried 
the Captain excitedly. 

"All the better for us, I should say." Mrs. 
Thrale looked forward on the bow. "This ain't 
a big boat. We can make it. He won't dare fol- 
low. We can run down lickety-scoot on that big 
tide it's flowing now right down through your 
Boca what-do-you-call it, and be as safe as ja, clam 
at high water." 

"But this is a U. S. Government report," in- 
sisted Thrale. "McGee has been here. He knows 
what he's talking about. Look here : * The tides are 
among the strongest and the tidal currents are 
among the swiftest in the world; and as shown 
by the extraordinary marine transgression, the 
waters are among the most turbulent known.' 
We'll never make it in God's world!" 

"Don't swear, Jim!" she objected fiercely. "I 
ain't afraid, and you oughtn't to be. ' Extraordi- 
nary marine transgression?' A man who would 
write like that don't know as much about the sea 
as that cat there." She pointed to old Port, who 
had followed her into the wheelhouse. "We can 
go through all right. We can make it inside of an 
hour. And I tell you right now we're going to do 
it. You got us into this thing you've bottled us 


up in this little bay. There's only one way out." 
She thrust her sharp-nailed forefinger down at the 
strait. "That's through your Little Hell. We'll 
be around that point in twenty minutes and then 
we'll run it just as slick as lightning down a slip- 
pery elm tree." 

"It can't be done, " groaned the Captain. " Let's 
head over to the island. We could beach her over 
there and get ashore in the boats. ' ' 

"Yes, and land on a desert, and be hacked to 
pieces by them hatchetmen that are ashore back 
there. They wouldn't like anything better. I say 
we're going to run that strait." There was an 
iron sound in her voice. 

"And 7 say " 

' ' Oh, go to bed ! ' ' she shrilled. ' < I guess I know 
what we're gong to do." 

"My God! What a woman!" groaned the Cap- 
tain, fleeing down the main deck, Hazel and Tevis 
following him. He disappeared behind his cabin 
door. Tevis accompanied Hazel down the com- 
panionway to the saloon and left her with Sir 
Charles. He returned to the Captain's cabin and 
found him there, very red of face, and with a de- 
fiant look in his eye. That he had been bolstering 
up his invertebrate being with strong drink he 
made no doubt. With Flamel and the boatswain, 
he followed Thrale up to the bridge, where Mrs. 
Thrale was giving undisputed orders to the unre- 
sisting little quartermaster at the wheel. 

"Emily," the long-dominated, but now rebel- 


lions husband cried sharply to his wife, "I want 
you to get out of that house and off the bridge. I 
can run this ship and I'm going to do it." 

" Mercy!" she flamed forth, at these words of 

insubordination. "Well,' I'd like to What's 

this? Are we slowing down?" 

"Yes; I gave the order just before I came up," 
said Thrale, with a mixture of deference and de- 

"You did?" she blew out like the back-draught 
of a furnace. "Well, I'd like " 

"Yes; I did, Emily. Come out, now, and let 
me run the ship. First thing you know we'll be 
in that hell-mouth, and God knows where we'll 

1 ' Swearing again, are you ? Seems to me, Cap- 
tain Thrale, something's the matter with you." 
She came over close to him as he stood half in and 
half out of the wheelhouse. "Your face is as red ! 
Goodness sakes alive! You've* been drinking! I 
smell it on you. Where did you get it? 

There was a dull roar astern and a shot flew 
over the deck. 

"Hear that!" she shrilled. "He's closing in 
on us now. He wants my pearls, but he ain't ago- 
ing to get 'em." She flew to the speaking-tube 
and yelled down: "Full speed! Crowd on all 
steam ! Put every coal-passer to work. Get every 
knot out of her you can! Captain's orders!" 

"But it ain't Captain's orders!" protested 
Thrale, pale with fright. 


' 1 Straight ahead ! ' ' she shouted to the wheelman. 
"East, one point south." 

"Head about!" called the Captain. "Head 

She turned upon him', while the little wheelman 
stood confused and another gun boomed forth. 

"Mrs. Thrale!" cried Flamel. "Do you know 
what you're doing! I've stood enough of this. 
You can't run me any more." 

"Mrs. Thrale!" echoed the boatswain. "You 
ain't a-goin' to run me neither." 

"I think," said Tevis, looking sharply at her, 
"that we'd better do as the Captain commands." 

The quartermaster spun the brass spokes of the 
wheel and they glittered in the sunlight. The 
yacht's nose turned to starboard, in obedience to 
the Captain's order. 

"Let go that wheel !" shrieked the sea hawk, her 
face a black cloud of wrath and her beak in the 
air. She sprang at the little wheelman, grasped 
him by the shoulder, thrust him out of the house, 
banged and locked the door and yelled through the 
glass : 

"Run up your white rag! Surrender, if you 
want to the whole pack of you! I'm not going 
to give up this ship to any garlic-eating greaser. 
I'm going to save my pearls!" She grasped the 
wheel in her bony hands and sent it whizzing back, 
the nose of the yacht coming about quickly. 

The Captain threw up his hands and then leaned 
against the house, his body drawn up into a sad, 


despairing bunch. The Searcher gathered speed 
and beat rapidly toward the strait. She was still 
a half-mile ahead of the pursuing gunboat. The 
men who looked disconcertedly in through the 
heavy plate glass at the strange, defiant woman, 
her eyes, gleaming like electric lights, fixed upon 
the little open space of wild water between the 
beetling cliffs ahead. Her cat sat upon her shoul- 
der, clinging as tightly to her as she clung to the 
wheel. Her dark head against the cat's white, 
fuzzy body was singularly strong in outline, her 
insistent nose and her thin, tightly drawn lips gave 
her the firmness and fixedness of a creature carved 
in stone. The little steamer neared the high, 
threatening Punt a Desperacion amid the thrash of 
a wild tide-rip, the thundering boom of the surf 
and a wind that bawled and clamored. She 
breasted the point in a sweeping, swirling tide 
and dashed straight into the mouth of the Little 



FLYING down the great flume of the Infiernillo, 
the yacht, stout and staunch as she was, was no 
more in that Homeric tide than a snarl of kelp or 
a dead rush. Whatever of independent motion she 
held by the twirl of her busy screw was barely to 
be perceived. Staggering like a wild inebriate, 
reeling to this side and then to that, she was sucked 
into the Boca Infierno. Her bow rose heavenward 
and presently pitched down into dreadful depths, 
her stern out of water and her propeller racing 
like a windmill in the empty air. Now and again 
the whole tight bulk of her would be tossed back 
and forth like a tennis ball. From the rocky fore- 
land rang the white outcrash of the wildest of wild 

At times great twisting devil's holes in the 
wicked water appeared suddenly at her side, and 
when one of these giant whirlpools flung against 
her with harsh impact, she shivered all over and 
the cry would go up, "She's struck! She's 
struck ! ' ' But when she had swung half -about and 
lurched free from the whirlpool, she would plunge 
on again, snowy sweeps of spray flying to the tops 



of her masts, while she settled, rose and darted 
crazily down the strait. 

Captain Thrale clung to the handle of the wheel- 
house door, his baggy clothes a-flutter, glaring in 
upon the wild woman at the wheel, who stood with 
set teeth and gleaming, far-away eye, as oblivious 
of him as of the strip of oil cloth under her feet. 
But Flamel, stirred by the peril, flew about the 
ship, ordering the hatches battened down, sending 
Tevis and the boatswain on this errand and that 
and making all the men work like fiends. So that 
although he was desperately eager to reach 
Hazel's side and to aid and comfort her, Tevis 
could not get down to her. Even when there came 
respite from his labor on deck and he stood 
clutching at the rail abaft the funnel, Flamel would 
not let him go. 

"Keep your station there, shipmate, " he cried, 
as he ran forward. "You'll be needed at any 
minute. There'll be hell to pay here before long, 
or I'm a Dutchman. This is what comes from 
petticoat piloting. I'll see 'em both damned before 
I ship with 'em again, and you can lay to that. ' ' 

Between Punta Tormenta and Punta Despera- 
cion and for a mile or two further down the strait 
the land lay close on either side and loomed 
sharply under the afternoon sun; but a little fur- 
ther along in the turbulent tide gusty flaws of 
wind shot over shore and sea, sending up great 
puffy clouds of gray pulvis from the desert reaches 
of the mainland. These strange powdery mists 


presently swept over the ship and obscured the 
sun, so that they could see but a little way about 

Quickly the wind rose to a booming gale, and 
everything aboard was clattering and swaying 
while the already extravagant motion of the ship 
was increased to a sort of demon's dance. There 
was a terrifying helplessness in her strange 
lurches and rolls. She would fall headlong down a 
watery slope, tumble with a side twist and be 
righted by a merciful blow, while the gale scuffled 
about and the dun clouds swept gigantically down. 
Looking aft in the growing darkness of the dust- 
storm, Tevis caught dismal glimpses of the bat- 
tened companions, the foot of a mast or the sprawl 
of a parted guy line. 

A door near by banged harshly, a snowy skirt 
fluttered at his side, he heard a gasp, and Hazel's 
hand clutched the rail near his. 

"You!" he cried, his heart knocking desperately 
in his breast. "How in the world did you get 

"Through the upper boiler room passage and 
out the side door. I had to fight to get it open." 
Her voice rose high. To be heard above the roar 
she had almost to shout. 

"But you must go back!" he commanded. "I 
can't let you stay here. Where's Sir Charles? 
You must go to him." 

"He's in the saloon. He's he's ill. Please let 
me stay! I'll do everything you say." 


"Very well," he said at last; "but come in here 
close to the lee of the house and cling hard to the 
companion rail. Don't let go for a minute." 

A rousing sea swept over the stern, and the 
yacht rose, shook herself and flung sidelong into 
the trough. They did not speak, for very terror, 
until, as by a miracle, she righted herself and 
plunged on. 

"Do you think she can live through it?" Hazel 
shuddered and crept a little nearer to him. 

A hooting blast swept down upon them, as they 
stood there, threatening to tear them apart, while 
the whole dun world reeled with the ship. He 
threw an eager, defending arm about her, and 
drew her close to him, in a precious, grateful con- 

"I don't know," he said, full of the exhalation 
of her close presence, the feel of her warm body 
next to his. "It looks bad, but whatever comes 
we shall face it together, and if we die, dearest, 
we shall die together. I don't care to live a mo- 
ment longer than you." 

She drew back a little, struggled gently in his'; 
grasp, her bosom heaved, the gale swept two great 
tears from her white cheek. Then she remained 
quietly in his arms. 

"Yes, I know," she said. "I know. But " 

The wind blew her words away from him al- 
though her face was so near his. She struggled 
out of his arms, and stood gazing through the 
murk and the flying spray. ' * But we '11 go through 


this all right!" she cried with a burst of confi- 
dence. " She's a wonderful boat. Look! the sea 
isn't so rough down there ahead. We're in 
smoother water. We'll soon be out of it. Merci- 
ful heavens ! What 's that ! ' ' 

There was a rending shock, the ship shivered 
like a man collapsing under an awful blow, she 
listed frightfully, swung half-about and one of her 
masts crashed over the side. 

"What was it?" cried the girl in an access of 
terror, as he threw his arm about her again to 
save her a fall to the upslanting deck. 

"We've struck!" he exclaimed hopelessly. "It 
can't be anything else. Cling to me! Why don't 
you cling to me?" 

She obeyed, trembling in every limb. He seized 
a life-buoy that hung against the house, tearing ft 
down and fastening it about her waist. 

Thrale staggered aft, waving his arms and 
screaming orders to the terrified crew. Tevis saw 
Yokio and two other pantry boys, with the cook 
and quartermaster fly from a doorway. Then 
came McLaren, the engineer, two coal-passers, 
and, last of all, Sir Charles lumbered forward, 
clutching at a broken brace that snarled, along- 
deck. His face was white. He glared at Hazel 
and Tevis out of eyes that seemed to have just 
awakened out of sleep then hurried into the 
forward house. 

Tevis did not see Flamel nor the boatswain and 
feared they might have been washed overboard. 


As for Mrs. Thrale he fancied her as still hugging 
the wheel. He saw the Captain and some of the 
men making for the boats, tearing at the davit 
lines which swayed wildly in the swinging blocks. 
Tevis did not move. It came to him quickly that 
their best chance was in staying by the ship, hope- 
less as was the outlook ; but Hazel sprang forward 
nervously, as if to break from his grasp and run 
to the boats at the wild call of the frenzied 

" Don't move," commanded Tevis, tightening 
a knot in the buoy line about her waist. "She 
may right herself." 

He stood waiting while the sea flooded over the 
port side. She begged him to seize another buoy 
that was near at hand. He was about to do so, 
when the yacht pitched sternward and a mighty 
wall of water swept over and engulfed them. 
Clinging tightly to the loose sleeve of the girPs 
stout jacket, Tevis was tossed upward like a fish- 
bob and heaved forward by the resistless ava- 
lanche of water. Nothing seemed more certain 
than that they were both overboard and at the 
mercy of the mad waters. It occurred to him that 
in clinging to the girl, he was lessening her chance 
of escape on the life buoy, and he was debating 
whether or not he should let go, when of a sudden 
his feet struck something hard, and a white object 
rose before him. It was a rail stanchion, and he 
threw his arm about it, hugging it desperately, 
still clinging to Hazel, who was being tugged away 


by the embracing wave. He pulled her back and 
close to him and rejoiced with mighty exultation, 
for the receding sea had left them upon the wheel- 
house deck. Yes; there was the battered little 
bridge in its railed enclosure and there was the 
white side of the house, and the plate-glass win- 
dows, and Mrs. Thrale standing inside, still cling- 
ing to the wheel. 

After a long, deep intake of breath, he spoke to 
Hazel : 

"Are you all right, dearest?" he said, his lips 
to her ear. 

She made no reply, and lay limp and inert in his 
arms. The deck rose free from the water, for the 
stanch yacht had righted herself at last. Whether 
or not she was leaking badly as a result of her 
striking, he could not tell, but this much he knew : 
She was afloat and running in the stream, which 
seemed strangely quieter, though it was still rough 

He worked his way along the bridge, dragging 
Hazel with one hand, while he gripped the rail 
tightly with the other, and reaching the wheelhouse 
door, he turned the handle. The door was still 
locked. He rapped desperately upon the glass. 
For a few minutes Mrs. Thrale paid no heed to 
his knocks, appearing not to see him. Then she 
glanced down through the glass. Her face changed 
a little and she reached out one hand and turned 
the key in the lock. He opened the door and bore 


his burden of collapsed womanhood inside, and, for 
want of a better place in the incommodious room, 
laid her upon the table. Then he chafed the white 
hands, tore off the life-buoy, and loosened the 
clothing- about her throat. He could not tell 
whether she had been injured, but judged that the 
breath had been beaten out of her by contact with 
something while the waves were tossing them 

While he worked to restore her, Mrs. Thrale 
stood silent, tugging at the wheel. 

" Can't you do something for her?" he cried 
desperately. "I'll take the wheel." 

"Take it," she said, "my arms are nearly dead. 
Keep her hard-aport. She's making water fast. 
There 's nothing left now but to beach her. There 's 
a place over there," she nodded toward the island, 
' i that seems like good water probably an eddy 
it's to lee of them rocks. I'm trying to run her 
in there." 

"All right!" He grasped the wheel, and she 
turned to Hazel. 

1 'Poor child," he heard her say, and when after 
a moment he turned anxiously, he saw that she 
had loosened the girl's clothing at the waist. 

* ' She 's beginning to breathe all right now, ' ' said 
the woman after a while ; "but don't look this way. 
Stick to your wheel." 

They glided into the eddy, to the lee of the rocky 
headland, and the wind, with its obscuring clouds 


of dust, left them of a sudden. There was a slow 
cessation of the beat of the screw. 

"Water's up to the furnace grate," said Mrs. 
Thrale simply. 1 1 No more power. ' ' 

"What's keeping her afloat so long?" he asked. 

"The compartments. Lucky thing she struck 
astern. I expect she banged sideways on a rock. 
Isn't this a splendid cove almost like a lagoon. 
We can beach her here all right. She's got head 
enough. ' ' 

"Oh," he heard Hazel gasp softly, "am I still 
on the yacht? I thought we went overboard. 
Where is Edwin ? ' ' And he blessed the sweet voice 
of her, his heart vibrating to its music and rejoic- 
ing in the sound of his name from her lips. 

"Tevis?" said Mrs. Thrale. "He's all right. 
Just lay back now and rest. My, but your things 
is wet! But they can't be changed now!" She 
turned her eager eyes ashore. "Yes, we've got 
way enough to run her close up to that little spit, 
and the eddy will help, for it sets inshore. Isn't 
it nice and smooth in here? Good gracious! I 
didn't think she'd strike so soon." 

For there was a great crunch, a heavy grinding 
down below, the bow swung about, and the 
Searcher, her head high and her after-rail down 
to the level of the water, lay aground on a bank 
of gravel within two hundred feet of the spit. 

1 1 She lays lovely ! ' ' cried Mrs. Thrale. ' 1 1 guess 
them Greasers won't be hunting us down here. 
My, what an awful run! We made it though, and 


we're safe! But the Captain! Has anybody seen 
the Captain !" 

She ran out upon the bridge and whisked down 
the steps and along the deck with fluttering skirts. 



TEVIS turned to where Hazel was leaning back in 
the chair, her clothes still dripping and in sad dis- 
array. She smiled sweetly at him, the old shine 
and sparkle in her eyes. 

11 Where are we now?" She stared out of the 
window. "Why, we're near shore and in still 
water ! ' ' 

"Yes," he said, "we're safely out of it. "How 
do you feel?" 

She shivered a little in her wet clothing. 

"I 'mall right, "she said. " But Sir Charles 1 I 
must go and look for him. He may be drowned. I 
must go and see." 

" No, " said he ; " let me go. ' ' He ran out of the 
wheelhouse and followed Mrs. Thrale along the 
deck. She had been looking elsewhere for the 
Captain, but had not found him. On the whole 
deck they saw not a soul save Yokio, who appeared 
suddenly out of the upper boiler-room door. 

"Where's the Captain," demanded Mrs. Thrale, 
the furrows showing deeply in her brow. "Where 
is he?" 

"No; I no see Captain," replied the Jap. lt l 
see firs' officer and engineah. Tha's all I see." 



Flamel came out upon deck, followed by Mc- 

"It caught me down below," said Flamel, to 
Tevis. " Lucky thing for me I was forward. Had 
all I could do to keep that drunken Walden from 
going aft and drowning himself. Wouldn't mat- 
tered much if he had." 

"Is Sir Charles safe, then?" asked Tevis, with 
strangely mixed feelings. "Is he safe?" 

"Yes; he's safe enough sobering up down in 
the messroom. He and Mac and Yokio were on 
deck when she struck, but they got down below 
somehow. ' ' 

"But where's Captain Thrale?" shrieked the 
woman. ' l Can 't nobody tell me where he is ? Why 
do you all stand gaping around? Why don't you 
hunt for him, I'd like to know?" 

They searched all about the yacht, above and 
below decks, down to the edge of the water, which 
stood knee-deep in the^saloon, but they did not find 
the Captain. In the messroom Tevis s&w Walden, 
red-eyed and raging over the unhappy turn of 
affairs. He stormed aloud and then leaned upon 
the table and groaned and lamented over what had 
befallen the yacht, bewailing her loss as though it 
had been a purely personal one, which he doubtless 
considered it. He seemed to have learned some- 
how that Hazel was safe, for he asked no questions 
about her. Tevis left him lamenting and went 
upon deck. Mrs. Thrale was sitting forward, 
alone, in the high bow of the boat, scanning the sea 


sadly, her head in her hand and her black figure 
strangely drooped and shrunken. 

1 1 She's given him up," said Flamel. "The 
engineer's told her how it happened. He saw the 
old man and the others washed over the side by 
the big wave after we struck. Well, this is what 
petticoat piloting come to." Then his voice soft- 
ened a little and.he said : ' i Poor old girl ! I guess 
she 's sorry now she took things in her own hands. 
But I don't know. She's got her treasure, and 
that's a great consolation to her." 

"Don't say that." Tevis gazed forward com- 
passionately at the desolate figure in the bow. 
"Kemember how many years they sailed to- 

"And remember how many jawings and hen- 
peckings she 's given him, ' ' sneered Flamel. f ' He 's 
better off where he is. 

Tevis hastened back to Hazel and assured her 
of the safety of Sir Charles. She received the 
news calmly, saying: 

"I'm very glad." But there was no great joy 
in her voice. "I wonder if my room is flooded," 
she said presently. 

"Yes, but I can wade in there and bring out 
anything you want." 

"I shall need a lot of things. A warm wrapper, 

a pair of shoes, and stockings, a sweater, a Do 

you suppose you can guess what else?" 

"I'll try," said he. Hastening below, he pro 
ceeded to ransack her lockers in search of such 


feminine garments as he thought she would re- 
quire. It took him a long time to make the selec- 
tion, and he was fearful of the things getting wet, 
as he was splashing about, knee-deep in water. In 
the white coverlet of her bed he bundled up a red 
woolen wrapper, together with what he considered 
a fairly complete outfit of pretty garments of 
various shapes and all wonderfully sweet because 
of their association with their wearer. Gathering 
the four corners of the coverlet together he car- 
ried the bundle carefully up to the wheelhouse. 

" Thank you ever so much/' she said as he laid 
the loose luggage upon the table. 

"The key is in the lock," said he, as he closed 
the shutters and went out. 

She was not long in dressing, and when she 
opened the door again she looked fresh and sweet 
in her clinging white sweater. She was arranging 
her hair as he came to the door and asked what 
else he could do for her. 

"Nothing," she replied; "only I think every 
well-arranged wheelhouse ought to be supplied 
with a mirror and combs. When are we going 

"Why," said he, "Mr. Flamel says we're very 
well off where we are for the present. The tide 
is falling so rapidly that we'll soon be high and 

"I don't suppose there's the remotest chance of 
the yacht ever floating again, ' ' she sighed, leaning 
back wearily in her chair. 


"No," said he; "but we'll get off someway. 
Let me roll up that bathrobe and make a pillow 
for you." 

"Thanks," she said, after he had performed 
this service. "That will do very nicely. It's 
lovely of you to take such pains for me. I 
shouldn't have gotten along at all." Her head 
dropped upon the improvised pillow. 

An idea seized him, and he left her abruptly, 
ran down to her room, gathered up the blankets, 
sheets and pillows from the bed, and called Tokio 
to help him with the top mattress, which was in 
two sections. He and the Jap carried the bedding 
up to the house, where he piled the parts of the 
mattress, one above the other, upon the chart table 
and made a comfortable couch, into which he 
assisted her. 

"Oh, this is so comfy," she sighed, as she sank 
down upon the bunk. "No, I'm not ill only 
only so tired!" 

"Yokio can bring you up some tea and toast 
from the pantry, ' ' he said, as he went a'way ; ' i and 
I'll send Mrs. Thrale to you as soon as I can get 
hold of her." 

Then he went down to his own room, which being 
well forward, was not flooded, though threatened 
by the settling and shifting of the ship. He 
changed his clothing and came on deck again, 
where he found Flamel and the engineer. They 
discussed the situation. It was agreed that they 
were in no immediate danger from the sea. They 


had run aground at high water. The tide was 
now falling rapidly, and would continue to do so 
for a few hours. As nearly as they could make 
out, they were a little over half-way down the 
island, at the point where the strait was widest, 
which fact accounted for the water being smoother 
there than elsewhere in the Infiernillo ; but, look- 
ing out from the cove, they could see, beyond the 
circling eddy, the wild water of the channel, still 
turbulent and forbidding, though the wind had evi- 
dently abated a little. 

"There's two of the boats left," said Flamel, 
"the launch and the gig. The gig's no good it's 
had a bang from something. The launch will be all 
right when she's bailed out. But I don't like risk- 
ing that channel again until it's a good deal 
smoother. When a pot like this gets to boiling it 
keeps on for a while. It's that big wind that's 
done it, with the ugly tide they have here, and 
there'll be choppy seas and cross swells and God 
knows what all, for a day or two yet. We can wait 
here aboard, I guess, unless something happens. 
As for me, I don't want to take any chances ashore 
on that island. It's an awful country, and if the 
Seris didn't get us the hatchetmen who came 
ashore from the junks would, for they will be 
prowling about." 

"Do- you suppose they'll attack the yacht?" he 
asked apprehensively, thinking of the girl in the 
j, "Of course they would if they found her; but 


she's pretty well out of sight behind those hills 
there, and the island's a big place. They might 
not run across us for several days." 

"How about the rifles?" 

"What's left of 'em is forward there in the Cap- 
tain's cabin and safe enough, but there isn't much 
ammunition, and mighty few men to handle the 
guns. You see, there's only five of us left, count- 
ing Yokio and the Englishman. This cruise has 
cost a lot of lives." He sighed. "The Jap's a 
good little fighter and the Britisher may be all 
right if we can keep him sober." 

"You haven't counted in Mrs. Thrale," said 
MacLaren, with Scotch canniness. ' ' She's as good 
as a man. She's gone all to pieces over the loss of 
the Captain, but she'll coom thegither again. And 
there's the lassie she can pull a trigger. So 
there's seven of us al thegither. Don't you think 
we ought to get the rifles ready?" 

They all went forward to the Captain's cabin. 

"Poor old man!" sighed Flamel, as he entered. 
"There's his pipe and pouch, just as he left 'em. 
He was a mighty good old chap after all, if you let 
him alone. But that wife of his got the upperhand 
of him, like a bad habit." 

' ' There 's mighty few guns left in the rack, ' ' said 
Tevis. "Only three a rifle and two pea-shooters, 
for that's about all those shotguns amount to. But 
there's six or eight revolvers pretty good ones, 
too and, let's see seven boxes of cartridges, 
three pistol, two rifle, and two for the shotguns." 


"What's that safe open for!" asked the en- 
gineer, pointing to the corner where the door of the 
strong-box stood ajar. Better lock it up, hadn't 
you, Mr. Flamel?" 

Flamel glanced into the safe. 

"She's taken out the pearls. She's got the bag 
tied up in her clothes, no doubt, and wearing 
it around." 

"Ah, she's canny!" smiled MacLaren. 

Flamel closed the safe-door and locked it. They 
armed themselves with revolvers and took 'the 
extra weapons over to the shoreward side and 
stowed them in a tool closet, handy to the deck. 

"Now," said Flamel to Tevis, "if you'll take 
these glasses and go up on the bridge and keep a 
sharp lookout ashore, we'll have Tokio get out 
something to eat, and send you up a snack. We'll 
keep regular anchor watch you and Mac and me. 
Mac, you order the chow and I'll see what I can do 
for Mrs. Thrale. She's up there in the bow as still 
and stiff as a figurehead. She's mighty sorry for 
the loss of the old man. Maybe she wishes she 
hadn't been quite so brash." 

Taking the glasses and the rifle, Tevis mounted 
to the bridge. The door of the wheelhouse was 
closed and the shutters were drawn. One of the 
windows was down a little way from the top. He 
was glad to think that Hazel was resting so quietly 
in there. He tiptoed about the deck that he might 
not wake her should she chance to be sleeping. He 


glanced fondly at her door now and again, but for 
the main part he was all eyes for the shore. 

It was a wild and desolate land, this of Tiburon 
Island, and nothing more mysteriously forbidding 
could well be imagined than the picture he saw 
from the yacht. Bare, high buttes rose inland a 
few miles away, while the nearer foothills, arid, 
rock-dotted and brown, rounded away to a low 
strip alo.ngshore, where the sand lay in little white 
dunes. A half-mile north the hills parted in a 
great gulch, that ran down to the shore, and in this 
rift grew mesquits, palo verde scrubs and sahua- 
ros, with an occasional spear-shaped agave. If 
any enemy attacked them he would come through 
this gulch. For the bowl-shaped cove was guarded 
to seaward by high, impassable scarps both up and 
down the strait rocky barriers that hung out over 
the water and terminated in islets of rock over 
which the spray dashed high. That the yacht had 
driven her way in among these rocks to her safe 
position on the shingle seemed a miracle. But there 
she was and, so far as could be predicted for the 
time, there she would remain. 



THE tide fell so rapidly that by five o'clock in 
the afternoon about an hour and a half after 
Tevis began his watch the spit had stretched its 
narrow tongue out to and beyond the yacht, and, 
looking over the rail, he could see the water pour- 
ing out of the great jagged hole in the port side, 
near the stern. The steel plates were rent and 
bent where they had struck the rock, and the hole 
was a desperately ugly one. 

Even with the advantage of having the yacht 
on the beach it would be impossible for them to 
repair the damage or to make shift till they 
reached port. An idea occurred to Tevis, however, 
that before the turn of the tide it might be possible 
to dam up the leak so as greatly to lessen the 
flooding below decks. The thought must have 
come to Flamel or MacLaren at about the same 
time, for a little later he saw them at work with 
canvas, ropes and planks, stanching the gaping 
wound in the vessel's side. Yokio, too, was bear- 
ing a hand. 

Tevis looked to see if Mrs. Thrale did not take 
an interest in this important work, but she sat 



motionless in the bow, gazing out to sea, as though 
she* expected to catch a vision of the Captain out 
there where he had gone down in the tidal flood. 

But these were all merely glances aside on his 
part, for he kept his eyes upon the gulch, strained- 
ly peering through the glass from time to time, and 
not a shadow shifted ashore nor a buzzard flew 
that he did not see it. Once or twice a moving 
object dodged among the mesquits, and each time 
he sprang up, alert and anxious, but it was never 
anything more suspicious than a coyote or a jack- 

As the sun was dropping below the buttes he 
heard a movement inside the wheelhouse. The 
door opened, and Hazel's face appeared. She 
seemed fresher after her rest, and her dark eyes 
gleamed brightly. 

"Oh," said she, "I didn't know I was to have 
an armed sentinel while I slept. Is there so much 
danger as that? This part of the island appears 
to be wholly deserted." 

"It is," said he, reassuringly. "My presence 
here is only a matter of form. We have to keep 
anchor watch, and we're very short-handed." 

"Yes, I know," she sighed. "Yokio told me all 
about our losses when he brought the tea. Poor 
Mrs. Thrale ! Had I been able, I should have gone 
to her and tried to comfort her. Where is she ? ' ' 

"She's away up forward," he said. "You 
mustn't try to see her now. Wait until you are 


"But I am better. I feel quite refreshed. I 
must go and see her." And she passed bare- 
headed along deck, the last glints of the fading 
sunlight weaving an aureole in her hair, and the 
red wrapper fluttering in the breeze. She made 
her way down the companion and up the slanting 
deck to where the silent woman sat in the grief of 
her new widowhood. She put her hand gently 
upon Mrs. Thrale 's shoulder and the desolate 
woman turned slowly and looked at her out of 
grief-softened eyes. 

Glancing toward them again a little later, Tevis 
saw that they were talking together as two women 
in their isolated position must talk, no matter 
what of misfortune or of sadness may have come 
to one of them. It was plain that, by the sweet 
sympathy of Hazel, the desolate woman had been 
led away from her dismal abstraction, and when, 
as the shadows of the buttes lay over the cove, 
they came up to the bridge together for a word 
with him, he could see that Mrs. Thrale was no 
longer the sea hawk, but a woman chastened by 
sorrow and contrition. 

"Now, if you'll go in there and sit down, Mrs. 
Thrale," said Hazel after he had answered some 
questions put by the bereaved woman as to their 
situation, "I'll fetch you a cup of tea." 

"Thank you, Miss Braisted," said Mrs. Thrale. 
"You're awfully kind, and I don't want to make 
you any trouble; but the tea would taste good. 
I'm I'm so " and she fell to sobbing, leaning 


upon Hazel's shoulder and clinging to her while 
she led her into the wheelhouse. 

While Hazel went below for the tea, Mrs. Thrale 
wiped her eyes with her handkerchief and looking 
out at Tevis said, with great earnestness: 

' ' Did you see the Captain after I took the wheel ? 
Was he very mad at me? I know I jawed him 
I was always jawing him, and he was such a kind, 
patient man. But he wasn't mad he wasn't very 
mad, was he?" 

It was clear that a little deception was due from 
him, and he hastened to assure, her that he had 
seen no great anger on the Captain's part he had 
probably felt that she was doing what she thought 
was best when she took the wheel. 

"He couldn't have died cursing me, could he?" 
she cried appealingly. "He couldn't could he? 
He was a good man, and a good captain. I knew 
him since I was that high. We went to school 
together in the old stone schoolhouse near where I 
was born. It's true I was always jawing him, but 
he understood he knew it was only my way. ' ' 

Having found her tongue through the well- 
meant influence of Hazel, the contrite woman kept 
on in a flood of self-reproach and self -vindication, 
mingled with pitiful praise of her dead husband. 
But when she had drank the tea which Hazel 
brought up to her, her frayed nerves seemed to 
knit themselves up a little, and she was led more 
easily to the consideration of affairs aboard ship 
the condition of the flooded cabins below deck and 


other matters which Hazel brought forward to 
keep her mind off the Captain. Tevis was relieved 
when he heard her say: 

" Where's Mr. Flamel? I want to know about 
the things in my room." 

"I'll go with you," said Hazel. And they went 
below, Mrs. Thrale leaning upon the girl for sup- 
port, as they passed down. 

While they were below Walden came up on deck, 
bearing in his face the look of a man just recover- 
ing from a debauch. 

"I say," he called up to Tevis, "what kind of a 
rotten hole are we in now? We're stuck here, I 
fancy. ' ' 

"You've guessed it right the first time," was 
the cool reply, coupled with a frankly disdainful 
look out of the young man's eyes. 

1 ' Tevis, you 're a good sort. Hunt me up a weed 
or a pipe. I can't find one anywhere, and the Jap 
won 't come when I ring. ' ' 

' t Hunt it up yourself, ' ' said Tevis, striding to 
the other end of the bridge and gazing carefully 

Walden went away grumbling. Just then Tevis 
saw something moving in the mesquits. It was 
the skulking figure of a man a loose-clothed figure 
that instantly suggested a Chinaman. The shad- 
ows were deepening ashore, but he made him out 
plainly enough through the glass; and while he 
stood staring, uncertain whether to send a shot 
after him or not, two other men appeared behind a 


mesquit, only their bare heads showing, for they 
had removed the big peak hats which would have 
made them conspicuous objects. They stood there, 
gazing at the yacht a good fifteen minutes, evi- 
dently taking careful note of everything they could 
see aboard. Presently they turned and trotted 
back up the gulch. Whether these three Mongols 
were an advance guard of the men who had gone 
ashore on the opposite side of the island, Tevis 
could only guess. 

Eeflecting a moment upon this sudden appear- 
ance of the hostile hatchetmen, it seemed plain to 
him that, having lost their boats, and being anx- 
ious to keep out of the way of the marines, the 
highbinders had all traversed the island, thinking 
to discover means by which to cross the strait to 
the mainland. From the fact that those whom he 
had seen had no rifles, he argued that they had left 
them aboard the junks in the wild scramble for 
shore when the men from the gunboat attacked 
them. No doubt they still had their hatchets in 
their belts and probably revolvers; so that, con- 
sidering their large number, they were very dan- 
gerous foemen. In their eagerness to cross to the 
mainland, they would not hesitate to attack and 
loot the yacht, particularly as the lack of men for 
its defense must be clear to them. They would 
doubtless come on in full force in the night or in 
the early morning when the tide would be low 
again, and the thought of what would ensue made 
Teyis catch his breath, while the hands that 


clasped his rifle, closed upon it with gripping 

Flamel and his two helpers had just finished 
their work, and had come on deck. He hurried 
over to them and hastily reported what he had 

"It doesn't surprise me," said Flamel. 
"They're mighty anxious to get away from this 
island. The Seris have probably been paying their 
respects to them. Indians hate Chinamen, and 
would fight those chaps in a minute. Besides the 
marines have no doubt smashed their small boats 
and sent the junks down to Guaymas. We've got 
to get busy, shipmates, and strengthen our posi- 
tion. We'd better tear down some of the upper 
works and build a barricade amidships. We can 
stand 'em off for a few hours anyway. ' ' 

"And then?" said MacLaren anxiously. 

"And then it's all up with the gang of us, I 
guess, unless the sea goes down and we can make 
away in the launch." He glanced out upon the 
turbulent stretch of the strait, where the gale still 
blew and the sea rose wild and high. 

"Nothing doing there," he said despairingly. 
"We've got to fight it out right here, and do the 
best we can. Yokio, run and bring the axes." 

The Jap hastened away. Tevis saw Mrs. 
Thrale coming up the companion with Hazel. 
Flamel went over to meet them, and set forth the 
miserable situation. While they were talking he. 
took MacLaren up to the bridge. 


"Is there much water in the engine-room now?" 
he asked eagerly. 

"A little," replied the engineer. 

" Could it be pumped out?" 

"Yes, if we had time. What for?" 

"I want to- get the dynamo started." 
' "But we don't need any lights now. They'd 
only attract attention." 

"I know, but this is for a different purpose." 

"What's that?" asked MacLaren curiously. 

"Live wires I want to run four or five all 
around the ship along the rails and above them, 
and along the sides." 

"Great!" said the Scotchman, slapping his 
thigh. "A guid scheme, I call it. But you don't 
need anything more than the winch engine for 
that. It's got a separate boiler, you know. I 
could fire that little thing up in an hour, and have 
your deenamos spinnin'." 

Flamel appeared, with a couple of axes. 

"I've had to tell the ladies," he said. "Miss 
Braisted takes it coolly enough, but the old woman 
has gone all to pieces. Wouldn't have told her, if 
I'd thought she was so shaky. Her nerve seems 
to be non est. I've told the Englishman, too, and 
he's braced up and promised to help, though I 
don't rely much on him. Hear the Jap chopping V 
Some of that expensive woodwork has got to 

Tevis told him his plan of the live wires. 

"Bully!" said he. "Just the thing! Maybe 


we'll get out of this fix yet that is, if they don't 
cut the wires with their hatchets." 

"I've thought of that," said Tevis, "and if 
you'll let me have some of that planking you're 
cutting out, a dozen good tight casks and some of 
the grating from the boiler room, I'll rig up a 
surprise for 'em when they try to get aboard." 

"What's that?" ased Flamel interested. 

"A float, with the grating on top, charged with 
a good, stiff voltage. We'll moor it against the 
side nearest shore. They're bound to get up on it, 
in climbing aboard, and if they wade out in their 
bare feet or if their wet shoes come in contact with 
it, a good many of them will lose interest in the 
yacht all of a sudden." 

"Hooray!" exclaimed Flamel. "All hands at 
work on the float that is, Sir Charles, Yokio and 
I. You and Mac better get the dynamo to run- 

While the engineer was firing up the small en- 
gine Tevis got out several coils of copper wire, and 
some strips of dunnage, on which to string the 
"juice lines" along and above the rail. He was 
wiring the strips upright to the rail stanchions, 
and working hurriedly with his pliers and cutter, 
when Hazel came over and said pleadingly : 

"Can't I help? Let me do something, won't 
you! Mr. Flamel told me what you were doing. 
It's a splendid plan. I don't see how it can fail 
to keep them off." 


"Yes, you can help," he said, gladly, "I should 
have some one to stretch wire with me." 

She obeyed each order promptly and with sur- 
prising sagacity. After three wires had been run 
on little poles, which extended two feet above and 
below the rail all around the yacht, he uncoiled 
two strands of loose wire to be thrown over the 
side later, one of them to hang down six or seven 
feet below the deck, and the other a little above it. 
This would give five wires, each to make a separate 
electric circuit, so that if any one of them were 
cut, the disconnection would not break the current 
on the others. 

"It's splendid," said Hazel, when the wires 
were all strung and the float, with its thin layer 
of grating was moored alongside and was riding 
neatly on the incoming tide. "It's just grand to 
think we can call electricity to our protection in 
this wild place. But we couldn't have done it 
without you, Mr. Tevis." 

"Edwin, you mean," said he with a smile. 

"Well, Edwin," said she, speaking the name 
shyly and very low. "Can I help you any more. 

"Not just now. Mrs. Thrale needs you, doesn't 

"Yes; she's still up in the bow. I can't keep 
her away from that horrid, exposed place. She'll 
take her death of cold." 

"Yes; and it's too exposed in another way," he 
said, significantly. "You'd both better go to my 


room. Tell her she must go that the Captain 
would want her to do it if he were here. It's on 
the starboard side, away from shore and it's the 
only dry one outside the crew's quarters. I'll ask 
Yokio to help you get her down there. I've got 
to go and look after the dynamo." 

"Very well; but I'm going to be of some use 
afterward. See, I have that revolver you gave 
me," and she brought forth the weapon from the 
pocket of her blouse. 

' l That 's right, ' ' he said, smiling. 

He ran below, and when the dynamo was ac- 
tually whirring and the wires and the grating were 
all connected up and tested, he felt the first feeling 
of relief that had come to him since he had seen 
the hatchetmen in the gulch. 



IT WAS about three in the morning that the 
attack was made. 

As Tevis had anticipated, the hatchetmen did 
not wait for the ebbing tide to leave the stranded 
yacht high npon the spit. They waded out from 
shore, coming on in such a body as to present a 
terrifying appearance to the little armed company 
of three men, a Jap boy and one plucky girl, 
who could not be persuaded to leave the barricade 
and go below, though Tevis tried to make her be- 
lieve that Mrs. Thrale, now in his room, was in dire 
need of her. 

They were only three men, because MacLaren, 
though he was eager to join them, had to attend 
to the engine. As the dynamo required but little 
care, Tevis had entrusted him with it, so that he 
himself should be able to handle one of the shot- 
guns, Sir Charles, Yokio and Hazel having the 
others, and Flamel the rifle. Besides these wea- 
pons, each had a revolver, and, taking a hint 
from the hatchetmen 's hand-to-hand method of 
attack, they also kept the axes ready at hand. 

When the dark figures stole through the mes- 



quits, over the white dunes and down to the 
water's edge, Flamel waited no longer but opened 
fire upon them with the rifle. The range was too 
wide as yet for the fowling pieces, though all were 
loaded with buckshot. FlamePs fire, which was 
strangely and disappointingly ineffective, was not 
returned. In the starlight they saw with satisfac- 
tion that there yrere only two or three long-bar- 
reled weapons among the attacking foe. The 
Mongols must have left most of their rifles aboard 
the confiscated junks. 

One of the highbinders fell just as he stepped 
into the water, but the others kept on, with a super- 
ficial show of courage, yelling and gabbling, all 
doubtless highly heartened by the fact that so few 
shots were sent their way. In truth, from the fir- 
ing, it would have been easy to argue there was 
only one man left aboard, though they may have 
seen the others earlier in the night. Not a light 
shone from the shoreward side of the yacht, and 
that, too, added to the deserted look of the craft. 
It was clear that the Mongols expected an easy 
victory. They had but to wade out to the vessel, 
clamber aboard, overpower the inferior guard, 
and the ship was theirs. 

So they came trooping into the water, and even 
when the yelling vanguard had waded out within 
a hundred feet of the vessel and the buckshot be- 
gan to sing past their heads, or splash about them, 
they faltered for a moment only, then returned the 
fire with sharp insistence, and made directly for 


the float, upon which they climbed confidently until 
it swarmed with the chattering creatures. 

Now was the moment for the electrical surprise, 
and, full of the excitement of the act, Tevis 
pressed the button; but, peering over the barri- 
cade, he saw no change in the position of the group 
on the float, and no wild yells of pain and terror 
rang out from them. 

"What's the matter with your current?" cried 

"I don't know," he called back despairingly, 
pressing the button tightly and looking down to 
where the hatchetmen were climbing up over their 
comrades' backs, and grasping the rail regardless 
of the wires in which they were in close contact. 
But the copper strands, so carefully strung, were 
dead and utterly harmless to the hostile boarders. 

The failure of his electrical system of defence 
dazed Tevis. In a moment the black meaning of 
it forced itself upon him, overwhelming his latent 
sense of hope in the situation. He looked along 
behind the barricades and saw Hazel reloading her 
revolver. At the sight of her he shivered and cried 
low to his sickening heart : 

' t God ! What will become of her ? " He sprang 
to her side. 

"It won't work?" she said, looking at him out 
of eyes that were like a terrified fawn's. "That's 
too bad!" 

"It's worse than bad!" !he said desperately. 
* ' It 's ' ' He caught himself. He must not give 


way like this. She must not see that a feeling of 
panic had come to him because of his failure. 

Quickly and resolutely he reloaded his gun and, 
standing closely by her side so closely that he 
could feel the brush of her sleeve against his and 
the soft arm within it, he fired shot after shot 
among the Mongols, some of whom were already 
up to the deck and climbing over the rail. All of 
the yacht's defenders kept up their fire, but 
though the range was short the aim was hasty 
and nervous and only a few of the reckless 
boarders, fell back into the sea. 

When he saw the loose-bloused, chattering 
Asiatics swarm aboard and knew that the tide of 
battle was against the handful of fighters on the 
deck, Tevis, in a clamoring fear for Hazel's safety, 
threw his arm about her waist ,and crying ' ' Come, 
come ! You must be out of this ! ' ' half -dragged, 
half-carried her below to his own room, bundled 
her in with the excited Mrs. Thrale and locked the 
door on the outside, taking the key with him. 

"That's good!" said Sir Charles, going along 
the passage with a big revolver in his hand. "I'll 
stay down here and guard them. 

"Oh, you're very dependable!" said Tevis, who 
placed little reliance upon the man as a sentinel, 
and feeling that he could do better service on 
deck if he had dared to stay there. He ran up to 
the deck and along to the barricade, where he saw 
Flamel and Yokio in hand-to-hand battles with 


the hatchetmen, the first officer swinging his axe 
neatly while he glanced at him. 

"Did you take the girl below?" shouted Flamel 
to Tevis as he reappeared at the barricade. 
"That' right." 

And Tevis knew that the man's heart was glad 
she was out of immediate danger. 

Yokio was shrieking a Japanese battle song, and 
stood with his back to the deckhouse, valiantly 
brandishing his axe against the ancient f oemen of 
his race. There were at least ten of the hatchet- 
men now on deck, and others were climbing up. 
He reloaded his revolver and sprang to the top oT 
the barricade, intent upon keeping back as many 
of the boarders as possible, but ready at any mo- 
ment to hasten to the saloon companion and make 
a final stand before Hazel's door, with such aid as 
he could get from Sir Charles. 

But the instant he leaped upon the barricade he 
saw a strange and wonderful sight: The men 
who were climbing aboard all tottered back, their 
hands and arms working spasmodically, while the 
air was rent by wild shrieks of torment and dis- 
may. Whenever they touched the wires they fell 
like ripe fruit into the water, splashing and yelling 
and scrambling shoreward. The current was on! 

He rushed to the button knob connected with the 
float wires, pressed it tightly and instantly a 
chorus of tumultous yells resounded from the float. 
Looking down, he saw the hatchetmen leap from 
the heavily charged grating, while those who had 


their hands upon it ready to clamber up, fell back 
into the water. A few seemed to be unable to 
separate themselves from the charged metal, and 
these howled and shrieked louder than the rest. 

But still the pirates already aboard fought on. 
Dropping the button knob and turning to them, 
Tevis devoted himself to two Mongols who had 
that moment set upon Flamel. One of the board- 
ers had just rushed in behind his back, when Tevis 
fired at him. The bullet whizzed past the China- 
man's breast, and in the same instant he brought 
his hatchet down with a swoop that sent it crash- 
ing through FlamePs skull and the brave seaman 
dropped limply to the deck. It was a sight that 
turned Tevis' blood cold; but he mastered himself 
and sent the slayer down with a bullet in his head, 
while Yokio, having felled his man, rushed up to 
the top of the barricade. 

This was a lucky move for Tevis, for two pant- 
ing hatchetmen were hacking at his head, and the 
Jap's smartly wielded axe stood him in good 
stead. There was a clash of steel on steel as the 
axe met the hatchets, and the sickening sallies were 
punctuated by shots from Tevis' revolver. It was 
a hard fight, but between them they put the two 
Mongols to flight, which was the easier done be- 
cause they were becoming dismayed by the ago- 
nized yells and the falling-back of their electrified 
fellows, many of whom were already ashore and 
running up the gulch. In five minutes the deck was 
deserted by the last of the boarders. 


Tevis hastened to where Flamel lay gasping his 
last. The stricken man did not open his eyes nor 
utter a word, but passed away quietly, and, as it 
seemed, with little pain. 

Tevis reloaded the rifle and sent shot after 
avenging shot among the fleeing hatchetmen. The 
last of them splashed ashore while others dodged 
in among the mesquits. 

"They gone !" cried Yokio, "All gone ! We have 
disappeared them ! ' 9 

Then he and Tevis lifted FlamePs body gently 
and bore it forward where they laid it sadly upon 
the bunk in the dead man's own room. As they 
turned to go, Tevis saw tears in Yokio 's eyes. 

"Missa Flamel vay good mans. I am so mis- 
fortunate he die. My heart so sorrowful. But we 
have disappeared all the Chinamens. Look, see !" 

He pointed to where the last of the repelled 
boarders was fleeing up the gulch. 

"They thinking devils on the ship. But I am 
understanding it is electric what you do, and 
very wonderful, very wonderful ; but I am under- 

Looking down at the float with a feeling of 
triumph in his heart, Tevis saw no one on or about 
it. The moment he had dropped the button knob 
the current had been disconnected from the grat- 
ing, and as the shocks had been far from deadly, 
all the Mongols had managed to get away. He 
could well imagine the mysterious, prickly, burn- 
ing sensations and the violent contortions they had 


undergone when the current was on, and he felt 
sure that the hatchetmen would not care to repeat 
the experience of trying to board the bedeviled 

" Weel," said MacLaren, coming up from below, 
his face agrin. "It wurrked all right except that 
time when the deenamo wouldn't buzz. But it 
drove them awa' it drove them awa', and they'll 
nae coom back again." 

The Scotchman was much distressed when he 
learned of the death of Flamel and stood about 
looking very thoughtful for a while. 

In the graying light of dawn they cleared the 
deck of the dead hatchetmen by the simple process 
of dropping the bodies into the sea. While they 
were doing this Sir Charles came around the cor- 
ner of the afterhouse, his pistol in his hand. 

"Are they all gone!" he asked anxiously. 

"Yes," said Tevis, curtly, "and here's a job for 
you." He pointed to the blood that lay upon the 
deck near the barricade. "You couldn't fight, and 
you've got to do something; so just help Yokio 
clean up this mess, before the women come up. In 
other words, right away." 

"Just fancy!" said the baronet, his lip curling. 

"Get to work," cried Tevis hotly, "or over- 
board you go!" 

"That's right," said MacLaren, "and I'll help 
you do it." 

"But, I say, Tevis, you're not mawster here," 


whined Walden. "You're doing this just because 
you don't like me you're an American and " 

Yokio had brought the pails and scrubbing 
brushes. Tevis thrust a brush into Walden 's un- 
willing hand, and said : 

"You're altogether wrong. I do like English- 
men. They are a brave race, but you disgrace 
them. And no matter who's master, or who isn't, 
if you won't fight, you must work, or over the side 
you go. The water isn't deep and you can wade 
ashore and get acquainted with the hatchetmen 
from whom you ran away. Here, take this 

He took it, and the novel spectacle of an idle 
aristocrat performing a useful and salutary serv- 
ice was so engaging and arresting a spectacle that 
Tevis fain would have stayed to enjoy it; but he 
had to go and tell the good news of their victory 
to Hazel a joy that was tempered by the sad 
thought of the untoward taking-off of Flamel, 
whose friendly hand-grip he would feel no more. 

"They're actually beaten off?" she repeated 
half incredulously when he told her. "And the 
electricity worked after all? Oh, good! good! It 
was your plan and such a fine one. You have 
saved us!" 

Then he told her about Flamel 's death. 

"Oh, the poor man!" she cried. "He was such 
a good man, too such a gentleman. I'm so so 
sorry. ' ' A tear stood in her eye as she spoke. 

For Flamel 's sake Tevis was glad of that tear. 


He hoped that the soul of the man who had si- 
lently, stoically loved her, still lingered about them 
and could see this glistening testimony to her grief 
for him. 



WHEN, two days after the repulse of the hatchet- 
men, the surge of the sea outside abated and the 
air was clear and calm over the strait, they made 
the launch ready, stowing aboard enough food, 
fresh water, blankets, and' extra tins of gasoline 
to last them for the voyage to Guaymas. 

Hazel, Sir Charles and Yokio took their places 
in the stout boat which had been roofed over in a 
snug fashion with tarpaulin. MacLaren and Tevis 
carried Mrs. Thrale aboard and laid her on a couch 
they had prepared for her of rich soft blankets 
and traveling rugs, well forward under the awn- 
ing. The poor woman had drooped and faded 
steadily from the hour of the loss of her husband. 
She had talked about him continuously, consuming 
the remnant of her energy in this vocal exercise. 
She had not slept, she had eaten little, but she had 
talked, talked. It was chiefly about the pearls, 
which were in the bag fastened under, her skirt. 
She also had insisted on taking aboard the launch 
her cat, a basket of elderberry wine and other 
things that were dear to her. Although she seemed 



to extract a modicum of comfort from Hazel's de- 
voted attention to her, she was so much the worse 
for nervous wear that Tevis almost despaired of 
getting her to Guaymas alive. But he thought that 
once there she might rally under medical treat- 
ment. She was much affected by their departure 
from the yacht, and was uncommonly full of self- 

' ' There, ' ' she said to Hazel, in a thin, tired voice 
as they laid her down aboard the launch and she 
waved her bony hand toward the yacht. ' i There's 
the boat I lost for you. She was yours all yours 
and now look at her! No wrecker would ever 
think of trying to float her again. They couldn't 
get to her. She'll go to pieces there in the spring 
tides, and she'll rot and rust and the sand will 
wash over her. That beautiful yacht!" 

"Never mind," said Hazel, "I'm only too glad 
to get away from her now. I'm going home I'm 
going to my father. Don't worry about me or the 
yacht. Just lie down and rest and we'll be down to 
Guaymas and the doctor's to-morrow." 

"Doctor's!" sighed the sick woman wearily. 
' 1 Doctors can't do anything for me. I '11 never get 
there, anyway." 

"Oh, yes; you will," said the girl cheerily 
"You'll get there and they'll make you well 
again. ' ' 

They were rounding the lower headland, and 
rocking in the swift downward tide. Looking back 
Tevis saw the dismantled yacht, her white side 


gleaming in the morning sun and broad-winged 
seabirds circling about her. 

" That's the last we'll see of her," said Mac- 
Laren, thoughtfully. i i She was a bonny boat. Too 
bad to let those engines bide there and go to rack 
on the spit. That's the last we'll see of her." 

Hazel winced as he said the words. Tevis knew 
that she felt very keenly the loss of the beautiful 

' ' Poor old Thetis ! " was all she said. < ' Poor old 

They ran down the strait, keeping a sharp look- 
out for rocks and bad water. But though the spray 
rained upon the awning at times, they sped out 
into the open bay below without further misad- 
venture. There the sea was smooth, the wind was 
light and, southward over the bow, the open gulf 
looked inviting. 

But just as they were, rounding the lower coast 
of Tiburon, they saw, close inshore, the dull out- 
line of the gunboat. She was lying-to, and the 
smoke was drifting lazily from her funnels. She 
was a good two miles away and they devoutly 
hoped that she had not sighted them. 

"What's she doing there?" asked Tevis, turn- 
ing to MacLaren. 

' ' Oh, just lying about at the mouth of the strait 
on the chance of the yacht coming doon." 

* ' Then she probably ran down there looking for 
us immediately after we got out of her clutches 


up at the Boca Infierno, ' ' said he. ' ' Do you sup- 
pose she has seen us?" 

* ' No ; but she will if we keep on this course, for 
we'll open out to her. Best thing to do under the 
circumstances is to make westward a bit. ' ' 

"Toward that land over there ?" said Tevis, 
pointing to a .barren-looking piece of gray-white 
upland that rose like a frosted-cake out of the 
gulf. "Let's see. What is the place anyway!" 
He had brought along a small chart of the Gulf, 
which he unrolled across his knees. ' ' San Esteban. 
It's a small island of the Difficult Group." 

' ' Another nasty island ? ' ' broke out Walden im- 
patiently. "I say, we don't want any more 
islands. ' ' 

"You see how that head shuts us off from the 
gunboat," said MacLaren, as they began to lose 
sight of the General Torres. ' i If she hasn 't picked 
us up, we can run in over there at San Esteban 
and lay low until she gets tired waiting for the 
yacht that will never come, and then steam away 
from these parts. It will be a dour wait for all us 
now, we're sae sair to get into poort, but we must 
do it. We mayn 't have to bide there lang. ' ' 

So they ran inshore at San Esteban and moored 
the launch by long lines in a shallow cove. They 
made a shelter for Mrs. Thrale with the tarpaulin 
and a bed of chaparral covered with the few dry 
blankets they had. They also made another shel- 
ter for Hazel close by and spread the damp blank- 
ets out to dry upon the sand. 


They took turns watching for the gunboat from 
a head of land where they had a plain view of the 
mouth of the strait and of the place where the 
Mexican lay. Though they could not actually see 
her from their lookout station, sometimes her 
smoke drifted into view around the point. It was 
plain that she had not observed them when they 
were in range of her. Though this seemed almost 
incredible, it was probably due to the stupidity of 
her watch. But it would have been a sheer impos- 
sibility to have escaped being picked up and run 
down by her had they kept on their course down 
the Gulf toward Guaymas. They were safe now, 
and though the wait was an irritating one, their 
only hope of keeping out of her grasp was in 
remaining where they were. 

As they sat around the campfire that evening, 
eating canned beans which Yokio had warmed in 
the frying pan, Sir Charles, to whom the rough 
service was most discomforting, took his tin plate 
with a sigh. 

" These beans are very appetizing, ' ' remarked 
MacLaren, as he helped himself again out of the 

"Glad you think so," said Walden. "But I 
wouldn't mind slipping into a dinner jacket just 
about now, and sitting down to a grilled bone at 
the Lions' Club." 

"A grilled bone?" cried Hazel, passing her 
plate to Tevis who was nearest the pan. "Oh, 
you sybarite!" Though her words were the 


merest banter, Tevis detected a strong note of 
impatience in them. ' i Yokio, ' ' she said to the boy, 
"will you toast some crackers for Mrs. Thrale? 
Maybe she would eat one or two. And I'll make 
some tea. Anybody else have tea? 

' ' Tea ! ' ' protested MacLaren, glancing at Sir 
Charles meaningly, "that's althegither too com- 
mon. Nothing but champagne for me. I always 
have it on ice when I'm camping on a desert 
island. But excuse me; I'll have to get back to 
watch. ' ' He seized a big bean sandwich and made 
off for the lookout station. 

"I caugh his drift," grumbled Walden, looking 
contemptuously after the engineer. "But fancy 
a man being satisfied with this sort of dinner, 

"Pardon me," interrupted Hazel, her eyes 
flashing dangerously, "but permit me to remind 
you, Sir Charles, that it's the best we have just 
now. And I don't mind saying, in the presence of 
Mr. Tevis, that your strictures have become very 

"I like that," returned the baronet. "I fancy 
you would make no complaint about Mr. Tevis' 

' ' He is too considerate to utter any, ' ' said Hazel 

"What a paragon of manly virtue, indeed," 
sneered Sir Charles. 

Mrs. Thrale moaned from her couch and called 


to Hazel. The girl rose instantly and hastened to 
her side. 

"Well, by Jove," said Walden. "Everybody 
seems to take pleasure in having a shy at me. Just 
fancy ! ' ' 

"Permit me to suggest a remedy," said Tevis. 
1 1 Be decent or half-way decent, till we get to Guay- 
mas. If you're not, you can expect anything, even 
to being marooned on this island." 

Walden shook his head, but was quite civil for 
an hour or so, during which he sipped brandy- 
and-water from a tin cup and then hovered mood- 
ily over the campfire, for the night air was chill. 

Hazel came back from Mrs. Thrale's couch and 
beckoned Tevis apart to say: 

"I don't know what is the matter with her. She 
doesn't complain of any pain, but she's very low. 
She mumbles a great deal to herself and seems to 
be out of her head. She won't eat or drink. I 
thought she might take some of her elderberry 
wine she always says it's so good for her and 
I tried to get her to drink a little but she wouldn't 
take a drop. What can we do for her?" 

Tevis went with her to the sick woman's couch. 
The firelight shone through the opening at the 
end of the little tent and played mercilessly upon 
the drawn cheeks and the hollow eyes. The hand, 
which lay upon the blanket, twitched and turned 

"Are you cold, Mrs. Thralef" he asked. "Do 
you want more blankets over you?" 


' i I have hot water bottles at her feet, ' ' said the 
girl nurse, thoughtfully, "but maybe 

"They shan't catch me! They shan't get my 
pearls ! ' ' cried the woman, starting up with staring 
eyes. Let me get hold of that wheel! I'll show 
them thieving greasers! I'll show 'em a clean 

pair of heels. And the Chinamen they Oh, 

Jim ! I didn't mean it I didn't mean to kill you ! 
I was only trying to save my pearls!" 

"See," said Hazel. "Isn't it terrible? What 
can we do for her? I have some quinine shall I 
give it to her?" 

"It won't do any harm," said he, as he laid his 
hand on the sick woman's forehead. "She's a bit 
feverish. ' ' 

' * Is that you, Jim ? ' ' she cried, her eyes staring 
again as he touched her brow. "No," she said 
sadly. "It's only Tevis; but he'll take good care 
of me. I know he will. ' ' 

"Oh, she isn't so bad," he whispered hopefully 
to Hazel. "She knows us." He tried to quiet her 
by smoothing her forehead and wrists with his cool 
hand. She settled down after a while and he was 
much relieved to see her close her eyes and begin 
to breathe regularly. Hazel remained with her, 
while he went to help Yokio gather driftwood for 
the fire, which was burning low. Sir Charles' 
hands were outspread above the coals. 

"Why don't you go and help them gather 
wood?" Tevis heard Hazel call to Walden after 


he and: the Jap had started. "The work would 
warm you." 

"But I say," he said shivering, "I don't know 
where to look for the nasty wood." 

She said no more, but Tevis could well imagine 
her thoughts. When he and Yokio returned, drag- 
ging the drift stuff along the beach, Walden had 
left the fire and gone to his couch. 

"Now," said Tevis to Hazel, "you go and get a 
good night's rest, and I'll look after her." 

She protested that she was not tired and tried 
to induce him to sleep while she kept watch by Mrs. 
Thrale ; but at last he persuaded her to retire. She 
went away, but returned soon afterward with a 
small red blanket wrapped about her and went 
over to the fire before which she shivered and 
rubbed her hands. 

"What's the matter?" he asked, going over to 

"Nothing, only I can't find the blankets; that is, 
only this little thin one." 

"Why, they 're here, somewhere," he said, look- 
ing about, "plenty of them." He went over to 
where Yokio lay on the sand under an old over- 
coat. "He hasn't taken any," he said, "and he 
must be cold, too." 

He found none of the missing covers until he 
went over to the place where Walden was sleep- 
ing soundly under a heaped-up mound of bed-cloth- 
ing. Angered by the sight, he stripped two blank- 
ets from the baronet, still leaving a good-sized 


pile, and carried them over to her couch. Then he 
tore another off the comfortable sleeper and folded 
it over Yokio. The girl's eyes had followed him 
and she knew as well as he that the luxurious 
gentleman had gathered up all the bed-clothing he 
could find for his own couch, without thought of 
the comfort of the others. 

' i Good-night ! ' ' said Hazel to Tevis, holding out 
her hand. "And be sure to call me at midnight, 
so I may share the watch with you." 

Her tone was so soft and there was so little of 
the conventional in her appearance before the fire 
she looked like a gypsy maid in the red blanket 
that he felt the vantage ground of their remote- 
ness there on that lonely isle under the stars, and 
he retained the hand she held out, while she smiled 
up at him in the fireshine, and did not snatch it 
from him until Mrs. Thrale piped feebly from her 

" Good-night ! " he said and turned away at the 
call of his helpless charge. But Mrs. Thrale 's cry 
was merely one of delirium. She settled down to 
sleep presently, and he went and sat by the fire 
which was near at hand and not so far from 
Hazel's bower but that he could hear her turn on 
her crackly chaparral couch. 

Sometimes his patient would moan pitifully in 
her sleep and when he went to her she would begin 
the tragedy over again. Then she would go away 
back to her village life, and she and the Captain 
would be school chums together, the two of them 


riding on the old gray horse, or picking apples or 
wading in the creek. Or they would be going to 
a dance or leaning over the gate and talking low in 
the twilight. It was all very heart-touching, like 
looking into the musty old love-letters of a long- 
dead village spinster. 

He was not obedient to his promise to call Hazel 
at midnight to alternate with him in the care of 
Mrs. Thrale. Indeed it was after one o'clock 
when he moved gently through the mesquits over 
to the girl's couch to awaken her. He found her 
lying peacefully, with one arm under her head, her 
white face charmingly soft and sweet in the fire- 
light, in striking relief against a Bagdad pillow. 
A heavy braid of dark hair lay upon her softly 
heaving breast, and fluffy wisps of it drooped over 
her forehead. Never had he seen so winsome* a 
picture of young womanhood as that -of this girl 
whom he loved, lying there alone in her innocence 
and in the beauty God had given her. 

And there beyond the range of the firelight he 
could see, faintly looming among the mesquits, the 
blackly shadowed form of another sleeper the 
man to whom she had promised herself. That 
dark form, though heavy in sleep, interposed itself 
coldly and harshly between him and this sweet girl 
lying at his feet. And yet he was so wrapt about 
in the precious, implacable coil of love that he 
tingled in every fibre as he shyly peered into the 
nun-like seclusion in which her girlish slumber 
begirt her. At no moment of all that season of 


desperate love had he felt so shut away from her 
as now. This feeling came to him out of the lonely, 
pervasive moan of the surf as it beat upon the 
rocks outside the little cove. The sea had given 
to him the little of her that he had enjoyed, and 
the sea would take it away. At the furthest they 
would not be remaining upon the island but a few 
days more, and soon after that she would be gone 
out of his life. 

He looked up at the cold, pitiless stars whose 
scintillant rays laughed at his love, and as the 
chilly night breeze blew about him he shivered. But 
he wondered at himself as ha did it, though he 
did not blame himself for the transgression he 
drew nearer and nearer to her and at last bent 
down over her with the thought that he would 
waken her by a touch of the .shoulder; for to 
speak to her might be to arouse the sick woman. 

As he kneeled to touch her a gently suffused 
glow came up from the sea, softly illuminating 
and divinely hallowing the face of the girl over 
whom he bent. No, he could not awaken her just 
then he could not break in upon that sacred sleep. 
The glow upon the sea strengthened as he knelt 
there. On wave-tips to the skies ran a trail of 
liquid light higher yet paler than his pulsing 
heart's desire when the large moon lit the fall and 
rise of her full bosom. He would not own to him- 
self the lupine nature of his act in invading the 
sanctity of her sleep. It could not be himself not 
Edwin Tevis who, with clamoring pulses, bent 


lower and lower over her soft round face until 
his lips touched hers. But in the instant of that 
ravishing contact his ego awoke. It was himself 
no other who was kissing those full, soft lips and 
was breathing the warm breath of this woman 
whom he loved. 

The girl turned gently, with a sleepy sigh, and 
then resumed her regular breath. He started back. 
Quickly, silently he rose, and softly as a shadow he 
moved away, every pulse athrob, every vein full of 
the fire of love. No matter what might happen 
after that, he had, in a sense, possessed her. For 
that moment she had been his. Though he lived 
a hundred years though he died on the morrow 
his soul could never forget it. 

He did not reprove himself for his trespass. He 
felt that he should be ashamed to have so taken 
advantage of her helpless unconsciousness, but 
somehow he was not. As a verity, with the soft 
feel of her lips still upon his, he was glad of what 
he had done. The moonlit sea was the brighter, 
the night the more beautiful and the whole horizon 
the wider. 

Mrs. Thrale did not awake. He heard her cat 
mewing about her couch, but the noise did not 
disturb her. The lonely animal went over to Hazel 
and mewed and purred about her and must have 
aroused her, for presently he heard her footfall 
among the dry weeds and saw her coming over to 
the fire with the cat in her arms a splash of white 
against the dark blanket that draped her about. 


* ' Why didn 't you wake me at twelve ? ' ' she whis- 
pered to him impatiently. "It's almost morning 
and you've been up in the cold all this time." 

He threw more branches on the fire, and it 
blazed up brightly. 

"I have been comfortable, " said he, "and not 

"Has she slept any? I heard her going on. 
Poor thing! She's quiet now. Perhaps all she 
needs is rest." 

She went over to the sick woman 's couch, while 
Tevis, sprawling down by the campfire and pulling 
a piece of canvas over him, stretched himself out 
upon his back, his eyes to the stars. But he did 
not sleep. 

She came back to the fireside and as he sat up 
expectantly, she said: 

"Why don't you lie still and rest? She's sleep- 
ing very quietly now. If only she could sleep all 
day and keep from talking, I 'm sure she 'd be bet- 
ter. But I think she is improving anyway. She 
may be up and about in the morning." 

"I hope so," said he, looking at her with that 
rapturous feel of her lips still upon him. How 
beautiful she looked there in the moonlight! 

"Why don't you lie down and rest?" she re- 
peated in a tone of concern. ' ' You must be tired. ' ' 

"Because" he took a dry stick and threw it on 
tjie fire and it flared up suddenly "because you'll 
be lonely without company, even such as I am." 


"Oh, you are the best of company," she said 
frankly; "but I want you to go to sleep. " 

"How can I sleep when you are so near me now 
and will soon be so far away!" He gazed at her 
fondly in the firelight. Her eyelids drooped a 
little as she said: 

"Yes. We have been such such good friends 
and shipmates." 

"And nothing more?" There was a burning 
eagerness in his eyes as he looked at her an 
eagerness kindled by the kiss. 

She saw the look and she trembled a little be- 
cause of its intensity. 

"Go to sleep now!" she commanded. 

"Of course," he replied stiffly, "I am still to 
be held aloof. Good-night I ' ' 

His head lay back and the dry chaparral 
crackled under him. Through the fringe of his 
eyelashes he looked fondly at her where she sat 
by the fire, clasping her knees and gazing fixedly 
into- the flame. Her command that he go to sleep 
had been a virtual forbidding of his pursuit of the 
subject of love. Did her sense of loyalty to her 
betrothal pledge and to the promise she had made 
to her father stand above everything? He knew 
she was intensely leal. Her unswerving fidelity 
to the truth in all things had been proven to him 
in many ways and although he admitted it in 
nearly everything, in this one essential thing that 
stood so stubbornly in the way of his happiness, he 
selfishly felt that she was wrong. And yet there 


had been times when he had thought that she loved 
him. But when one considered the wholesale 
international bargain and sale of beauty, love, he 
reflected bitterly, was a minor matter, easily neg- 
ligible, out of date. Love ! Why if it had counted 
for anything, would she not already have given 
him some little encouragement after the appeals 
he had made to her? 

Over and over again these desperate thoughts 
surged through his hot brain and always there 
would come as the climax to them the bitter re- 
minder that soon they would leave the island and 
go forth upon divergent paths she to one end of 
the world, he to the other. It was unbearable. 

When she arose and went to Mrs. Thrale's 
couch, he turned upon his blanket and lay face 
downward, with his head between his hands, press- 
ing hard upon his temples, as if to force out all 
thoughts of the love that tormented him. 



IN THE morning Mrs. Thrale seemed a little 
brighter after her night's rest, but in the after- 
noon, while Walden was on the lookout with Yokio 
for Tevis would not trust Sir Charles there 
alone and while MacLaren slept and the sun 
shone so fiercely down upon the tarpaulin that it 
had to be shifted to shade the sick woman, she 
began to talk grimly of death. 

She was lying with her head propped up that 
she might look out over the sea. Her delirium 
had gone, so that, although Tevis tried to thrust 
the nearing tragedy away from Hazel, he knew 
and she must have known, that the Captain's 
widow would soon join her husband. She was let- 
ting go her hold upon life from moment to mo- 
ment; but though her soul seemed willing to de- 
part, her lips held to their old habits of protesting. 

i 'It's too bad!" she said, wearily, looking about 
the gray waste of the arid island. "I always 
wanted to be buried in the old South Hill Ceme- 
tery, near the Penobscot. There was a hickory 
tree there in the corner that I often looked at 
a beautiful tree, always full of nuts in the fall; 



and there was blackberry vines and lots of green 
grass oh, so green! This is dry it makes your 
eyes tired. I always wanted to be buried where the 
hickory nuts would fall upon my grave.' 7 It was 
the dominant passion, swaying her whole being to 
the very moment of death she would be garner- 
ing something even in her grave. "And I wanted 
the Captain by my side. But he's buried out there 
in the sea I suppose the tide brought him down 
this way and, as long as we can't go back to 
South Hill, you'll put me in the sea with him, 
won't you? Maybe we'll drift together around to 
the old Maine coast. Anyway we'll be in the same 

She smiled a thin, wintry smile. Then she went 
on, raising her eyes to Hazel. 

"And you, my dear girl you've took such good 
care of me; and I wrecked your yacht. I didn't 
mean to do it you know that I thought I could 
run her through all right, but I didn't. I lost her. 
Feel in my skirt, dear, and you'll find the bag. 
Bring it out, quick; I don't believe I can stay 

Hazel brought out the bag of pearls and laid 
it by her side. The thin fingers closed over it, as 
she went on: 

"I lost your yacht, my girl. These pearls 
belong to you. Don't say 'no' they're yours, all 
except what's Mr. Tevis's and MacLaren's and 
what's coming to FlamePs widow. They'll know 
their shares. If anyone of the crew's folks makes 


a claim, Mr. Tevis can settle it for you. Take it, 
Hazel. Let me see you take it. I never had a 
daughter of my own, nor a son either. I ain't got 
any folks living. The pearls must go to,you." 

Weeping gently, the girl took the bag in her 

"Under my pillow is a little Bible. I want you 
to take that, Mr. Tevis ; keep it to remember me By, 
and when you put me in the sea read over me the 
fourteenth chapter of Job. That will do for the 
Captain, too he didn 't have any funeral. Here is 
my cat. Poor old Port. He '11 miss me. I'll leave 
him to you, Hazel. And the elderberry wine 
there's a half-dozen bottles of it it's very warm- 
ing. I give that to you, Edwin Tevis. Now go 
away, both of you, and let me die here, looking out 
on the sea alone. He loved the sea and I love it, 
and I'm going down into it and find him." 

Tevis took Hazel by the arm and led her away. 
They stood a little apart from the death-couch and 
watched the going forth of this singular woman to 
the man whom she had loved after her own strange 
fashion, but in a way to prove that " hearts are 
hearts the weary world all over. ' ' For an hour or 
more she lay there, her cat upon her breast, look- 
ing silently out upon the sea. Then her tired head 
fell back and they knew that she was no more of 

When Walden came down from the lookout sta- 
tion, leaving Yokio on watch, he showed much con- 
cern over the death of Mrs. Thrale, and insisted on 


knowing what had become of the treasure she had 
left behind. Hazel told him. He wanted to see the 
gems. Tevis was not far away when she showed 
them to him, and he overheard him say: 

"By Jove! I had no idea there were so many 
of them, or such big ones ! A string of these will 
look very fetching on the neck of Lady Walden. ' ' 

Hazel bit her lip, and stood with downcast eyes, 
while she said something the listening man did not 

Tevis turned away. 

Lady Walden ! Lady Walden ! The name rang 
in his ears and kept ringing all the morning. Why 
had he not the power to snatch her away from the 
other man before his eyes, and claim her as his 
own? But there were reasons why she would not 
be unwilling to hold herself to her vow. Yes, a 
girl of her station and training would hardly give 
up becoming Lady Walden. She was, he thought 
bitterly, only too ready to shine in her set as a 
woman of title. Now that Sir Charles was begin- 
ning to devote himself to her again, just as he 
doubtless devoted himself in the early stages of 
their courtship and engagement, she would forget 
the boorishness of the man, brought out under 
rough circumstances such as might never sur- 
round them again during their married life. 

Lady Walden! 

They consigned Mrs. Thrale's body to the sea 
from the end of a rock that jutted out into deep 
water. Tevis read the chapter from Job, and 


Hazel, with faltering voice, said a little prayer. 
They watched the thin, sheeted form slip into the 
sea, sinking slowly as it was drawn out by the 
swift tide. 

Then they heard a cry Yokio yelling from the 
lookout station: 

"Gunboat coming out now coming zis way, 
much rapidly ! ' ' 

They strained their eyes seaward. There was 
the cruiser at last ! She steamed directly toward 
them until she was well out in the wide channel 
between the two islands, then she headed north, 
and in half an hour they saw of her only a low 
stratum of smoke-drift which spun out to nothing- 
ness a little later. 

1 i Now for the boat ! ' ' cried MacLaren. 

They gathered the luggage together, Tevis bund- 
ling it up and the engineer and Yokio wading out 
to the launch with it. 

' ' Where is the oat ? ' ' said Hazel, looking about. 
"Where's Port f I '11 have to take him. Here, kit, 
kit, kit!" 

"It's strange about Port," said Tevis. "I 
haven't seen him since his mistress died." 

"I saw him taking to the copse away over 
there," said Walden, "soon after the old woman 
passed away. Good job, too. We don't want to 
be lumbered up with cats." 

An irritated look came into the girl's eyes. She 
kept calling and calling to the cat, but he did not 


"No doubt he wants to stay on this island where 
she died/' said she sadly. "But it's too bad to 
leave him here all alone in this f jsert place/' 

"Well, we're not going to wan on any old cat," 
declared Sir Charles buckling a Gladstone bag. 
"What's in that basket?" he asked, looking down 
interestedly at some carefully wrapped bottles. 
' ' Oh, that beastly elderberry wine ! I tasted it last 
night enough to make one ill, don't you know?" 

"It would be better for some persons," observed 
the blunt MacLaren, coming along and gathering 
up up the basket, "if nothing stronger was ever 
made in a ' the wurruld. ' ' 

It was a wonderfully calm morning, and the blue 
gulf stretched alluringly away from the gray bar- 
ren island, affording a broad, clear path back to 
the civilization so dear to the modern heart. And 
yet Tevis was loath to go. It would be the end of 
his voyaging with Hazel, to whom, in her far Eng- 
lish home, he would soon become a mere memory: 
She could not forget him altogether she would 
probably think of him at least once a month for 
the first few years. After that he would recur to 
her vaguely when she would look at her pearl neck- 
lace or hear some one speak of Mexico. She would 
be among persons of rank and wealth, and it came 
to him bitterly that his share in the treasure, while 
it amounted to a goodly sum, would not make hiiri 
a rich man. 

Yes, they were going back, to civilization he to 
California and she to the other side of the world, 


and in all the long miles between them there would 
be no link to bind her to him. 

He saw Walden preparing to go aboard as the 
luggage was being taken over by MacLaren and the 
boy, and he looked about drearily. Sir Charles, 
Hazel and Tevis stood on the beach, Sir Charles 
close to her side, talking to her in his possessory 

Tevis gazed at her covertly, with hungry eyes. 
Never had she seemed so far from him.. 
i Lady Walden! 

She looked about the island for the last time, 
with grave, sweet eyes, and he fancied there was 
a sorrowful shade on her face when she gazed at 
the abandoned camp, where the smoke curled from 
their dying fire. 

"Poor Mrs. Thrale!" she sighed, as she glanced 
at the bag of pearls in her hand. ' t She gave her 
life for these." 

"Well, they're ours now," said Sir Charles sig- 
nificantly ' l that is, most of them, and I fancy we 
can make better use of them than ever she could. ' ' 

She still looked thoughtfully at the forsaken 
camp among the gray-green mesquits while Tevis 
continued his covert eye-feast of her rare beauty 
and thought of the love which he must lose forever. 

Lady Walden! 

"She wouldn't have known what to do with a 
fortune like this, ' ' added Sir Charles. ' ' Her ideas 
were distinctly vulgar. Come, my dear!" he said, 


putting out his arm as if to place it about her 
waist. ' ' Come, let me carry you out to the boat. ' ' 

The words were a new blow to the baffled heart 
of the man who, as if driven from her presence, 
turned and stood with averted eyes. He took a 
few steps along the beach and gathered up a roll of 
blankets. He could not bear to see Walden lay 
hands upon her. He stared at the abandoned camp 
and shut his teeth tightly while he thought of what 
had happened there in the moonlight only the night 
before. Ah, to have loved so much and to have had 
so much to renounce! 

Lady Walden! 

"Do you hear, Hazel?" the brusque voice of Sir 
Charles demanded. "Can't yon stop mooning over 
that wretched old. camp? You ought to be glad 
to get away from it. Come, come ! I'm waiting to 
carry you out to the boat!" 

"One moment!" 

Tevis heard a light footfall behind him. He 
turned swiftly and there was the glorious girl 
springing toward him. His heart leaped to the 
pulse of love throbbing so wildly in her quick, ani- 
mate being and flaming from her eyes. Surprised 
by the suddenness and dazed by the unreality of 
her unexpected act, he looked at her uncertainly, 

"Hazel!" he breathed forth in gasping tones, 
"you have come to me!" 

"What's this?" demanded the astounded Wal- 
den. ' * Come back here at once, Hazel ! He 's not 


going to carry you aboard. I'm the one to do 

"No!" she cried back to the scowling man. 
"Here is the one who shall carry me!" She 
turned to Tevis and stood so closely to him that 
he felt her warm breath upon his cheek. 

His heart swelled in a high and heavenly joy- 
ance and his glad arms closed tightly about her. 

1 1 Between him and you, ' ' she cried, looking dis- 
dainfully back at Sir Charles, who still stared at 
them with unbelieving eyes, "I choose here and 
now ; and if you have the least ray of discernment 
in your self -loving heart, you will know the reason 

The bosom of her proud lover heaved exultantly, 
he lifted her up in his triumphant arms and waded 
out through the shallows while the low waves 
swashed gayly about them. 

"Dearest," he whispered "my own, all my 
own! la it true?" 

"Yes, Edwin," she said; "it's true, very true. 
But don't drop me!" 

The bottom was a little rough and he had made 
a false step. As he caught himself, hugging her 
the tighter, he said reassuringly: 

1 i Never fear ! You are too precious for thai: ! ' ' 

He lifted her higher in his strong arms and 
splashed joyously through the water to the boat, 
the adorable girl clinging to him closely all the 



FROM gray little Guaymas, with its grilling heat, 
its low-roofed adobes, its mantilla-hooded girls, 
and its bare-legged ninos, to San Diego, with its 
orange orchards, its trolley cars and its air of 
fresh modernity, was a Pullman-car flight of two 
days, and when Tevis and Hazel arrived in the 
Californian town there was with them none of 
those who had left the harbor in the Thetis four 
months before. 

At Benson Sir Charles Walden had taken the 
Santa Fe train for New York, bound for London 
and "real life," which was something one couldn't 
find anywhere in America, you know. On the jour- 
ney up through Sonora he had barely spoken to 
the -lovers, though neither of them had been un- 
gracious to him. He had spent most of his time 
reading the English papers he borrowed from a 
fellow-Briton on the train. 

At Colton they lost MacLaren and Yokio, who 
were bound for San Francisco, each with his share 
of the treasure. 

"God bless ye baith," said the ardent Scotch- 



man at parting, "and I'd like nothing better than 
to dance at your wedding. The lass was made for 
ye, Tevis. Bonny and gentle she is, with a heart as 
soft as her cheek and I know ye '11 always be 
happy thegither. Good-bye!" 

"Good-bye!" said Yokio. "You going live in 
South California, then I coming back and maybe 
you like Japanese boy wait on table. So! Then 
you be writing when you wanting me come. ' ' And 
he scrawled an address on a scrap of paper. 

"Ah," said Hazel when they were left alone on 
the train, "it is good to have known those people, 
and to have sailed with them. Please pull down 
that blind, dear, the sun is so fierce." 

"And is it good to have had all those adven- 
tures f " he asked, pulling down the blind. 

"Yes, really and truly, all except the killing 
that was terrible. And to think that such things 
as we have seen are actually going on in the odd 
corners of the world, even in this day men of 
strange races diving deep into the sea for treasure, 
fighting over their spoils and sailing away with 
them, full of triumph ! Yes, it seems good to have 
experienced those bits of brisk living to have 
camped on desert islands, to have felt the thrill 
of the chase, to have seen the rush of the combat, 
the fierce struggle, the gathering in of the spoils. 
It gets into one's blood wonderfully, makes one 
know that one is descended from primal man and 
that the dream of the world's romance is not over 
in this day of electricity even if one carries away 


one's loot in a suit case in a Pullman car." And 
she glanced smilingly down at the bag at her feet. 

"I'm afraid you're a romantic enthusiast/' said 
he, wonderfully proud of her very human senti- 

They laughed together. In fact, it was easy to 
laugh on this pleasant rail journey, now that they 
were rid of Sir Charles and his criticisms of every- 

But when they were told at San Diego that, 
although Mrs. Poindexter and a number of others 
had gotten safely ashore in the storm, neither Mr. 
Braisted nor Captain Dumble had ever reached 
port after the "burning" of the Thetis, and that 
the boat in which they had set out from the yacht 
had drifted in bottom up, Hazel was full of grief. 
Her worst fears for her father had proved true. 
For a time she was not to be comforted. The news 
which came afterward of the loss of the Braisted 
millions did not trouble her greatly; but it ex- 
plained many things and made her sorrow on her 
father's account the deeper, for she now realized 
for the first time what he had experienced of 
harassing care and of stressful strain. 

Tevis was not surprised to learn that the under- 
writers had made no settlement of the yacht's 
insurance with the distant heirs who had come for- 
ward and set up their claim. The payment had 
been deferred because of some obscure intimations 
that had been let fall by sailors who had gone 
ashore from the Thetis on the fatal night of th'e 


drowning of Braisted and Dumble, and also be- 
cause of the conflicting claims of the dead finan- 
cier's creditors. Tevis and Hazel concluded they 
would wait until they were married before urging 
a new claim for insurance based upon the actual 
loss of the yacht on the shores of Tiburon Island. 

Hazel went to New York for a few months on a 
visit to Mrs. Poindexter, leaving her pearls with 
Tevis, who sold them in San Francisco for the 
handy sum of $85,000. 

"We must live in California," she wrote in her 
first letter. "I want to build one of those quaint 
Mission houses in the true old hacienda style, 
among the orange trees, and have a pretty open 
patio with no end of tropical plants in it and a 
little fountain. The house must be lined wifh 
books and Navajo blankets and soft Mexican 
serapes and we must have a great open fireplace, 
where we can sit of evenings and talk, talk, talk, 
and live our adventures over again. And I want 
Yokio to wait on table." 

He sent her a plan for the house of which she 
approved and he sat to work immediately to build 
it in the middle of a Pasadena orange grove. 

When she came out from the East and he showed 
her the house she was rapturously pleased with it. 

"And the orange trees," she said, going outside 
and looking about amid the glistening foliage, 
"aren't they sweet? Isn't it strange how. they 
bloom and bear fruit at the same time?" 

"Yes," he said, "and it's quite fitting that a 


romance such as ours should finish with plenty of 
orange blossoms. " 

"Finish?'' she said, smiling in her old radiant 

"No, not finish," he corrected, "I mean begin, 
of course." 

After the wedding, which followed in a few days, 
they went to live in the new house among the 
orange trees. The honeymoon was spent there, the 
only thing that presented itself as a diverting cir- 
cumstance being Tevis' hour-a-day superinten- 
dence of the construction of a little electrical lab- 
oratory down in an arroyo at the rear of their 
grounds, screened by shaggy encalytus trees. 
Here he planned to work out his invention in that 
ample leisure which he now felt he could well 

He had a long, hard fight with the underwriters, 
who were much concerned at first over the strange- 
ly mixed stories of the loss of the Thetis; but when 
it was finally established that the vessel was 
wrecked and not burned, they settled in full the 
claim for $250,000. Though the amount was paid 
unwillingly, the claim has always seemed a fair 
one to Tevis, as the yacht was not lost by intent 
or through any fault of the owner, who was aboard 
of her at the time of the disaster. Beside there 
was nothing in the policy to release the company, 
as there was no clause providing against the 
peculiar manner in which she was lost. 

There was no doubt in Hazel's mind nor in her 


husband's as to whom the insurance money be- 
longed, as the transfer of the yacht to her had been 
made by her father that he might wrest that much 
out of the wreck of his fortune. 

"It shall all go to the creditors," she declared 
when she received her draft. "It belongs to them, 
and we have plenty without it." 

Some of the Braisted securities turned out bet- 
ter than was expected, and the addition of the 
quarter-million insurance money helped to make 
up the deficit in such a way that the loss to the 
creditors amounted to little after all. But nothing 
remained to Hazel out of her father's estate. What 
she now had was wholly the result of her sea ad- 
venture. And as she sat with her husband in tEe 
patio, looking out where the fountain was playing 
and the leaves were glistening, and Yokio flitted 
about in his white apron, she insisted that the pro- 
ceeds from the pearls had always been more his 
than hers. 

"My part in the affair was only passive," she 
said, "while yours was active." 

"But," he protested, "I distinctly remember 
seeing the figure of a very white-faced young 
woman behind a barricade, showering buckshot 
among the invading hatchetmen." 

"And shutting her eyes every time she pulled 
the trigger," she said laughing. "If any of the 
poor Chinamen were struck by my shot it was the 
purest accident. And just when they were getting 
close to us and I couldn't have failed to hit one or 


two and establish my reputation as some sort of a 
heroine, you bundled me away and locked me up 
with Mrs. Thrale. That strange old creature! 
She was not so hard and grasping after all. She 
had a sense of justice." 

"Yes her kind of justice," he acknowledged. 

"Oh, you needn't breathe a word against Mrs. 
Thrale, ' ' said Hazel. i i She was constantly sound- 
ing your praises to me. She was quite a match- 
maker in her funny old way. And after you 
brought my clothes to me that time in the pilot 
house, she said " 

"She said!" 

"No," said the happy wife, blushing adorably. 
" I'll not tell you what she said. Yokio is too near. 
Poor Mrs. Thrale. I wonder if she sleeps as calm- 
ly down there in the Gulf as though she rested 
where the hickory nuts might fall upon her grave. 
Do you remember that night when we took turns 
watching by her couch on the island ? ' ' 

"Yes," he said, looking into her splendid youth- 
ful eyes in which a mysterious light was playing. 
"Of course I remember it. Something happened 
that night that I can never forget." 

"I know what you mean," she said, her smile 

"No, you don't, dear." He came over close to 
her and sat on the flat arm of the big porch chair 
in which she snuggled lazily. "That night I 
must confess it before we go any further that 
night I kissed you while you were asleep. It was 


taking a mean advantage, but I couldn't help it 
it was a wild impulse and you didn't know." 

Her smile spread itself over her lustrous, happy 
face, and she broke out laughing. He caught her 
tell-tale eye. 

"You didn't know?" he cried. "You weren't 
awake? Were you really?" 

"Yes," she laughed; "I was awake all the time 
and terribly frightened, too. Weren't you just 
too dreadful?" 

"And you were awake and knew? What did 
you think of me?" 

"Oh, I thought you were the boldest, baddest 
man I had ever heard of ! " she declared. 

"Well, I'm glad I was so bold and bad. But 
mustn 't I settle accounts now for my horrible con- 
duct! Yokio isn't looking." 

He bent low over her and kissed her just as he 
had kissed her that night in the moonlight, only 
that when his lips touched hers there was a warm 
response, and she looked up at him with joyful, 
lovelit eyes. 

"Why didn't you make this kind of a reply 
then?" he asked smiling. 

"Isn't that just like a man?" she said, pouting 
prettily. "What would you have thought of me? 
How should I have dared? Wouldn't it have been 
ever and ever so unmaidenly?" 

"But on my part wasn't it ever and ever so 
ungentlemanly ? ' ' 

"Oh, yes; but that's different." 


"To be sure it's very different. Come!" He 
laid Ms hand on her arm. "Let's go for a walk 
and pick some oranges. Never mind your hat." 

She rose from her chair, put her bare arm in 
his white- jacketed one and they walked from the 
patio out through a side door and down the long, 
cool pathway among the dark-leaved orange trees. 


c 2 39*3